Friday, 16 May 2014


"the lost art of empathy"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Chicago
Label:  none
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  38 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Ska        Punk

What is it about Chicago that churns out some of the most significant punk rock of our time?  The Windy City just seems to get it, and Voice Of Addiction should be a household name amongst those in the know. Here is a band (of over ten years) that not only maintains that hard-edged old school check pace, but proves they are ever competent of adding layers of clever melody and change of groove to keep listeners fully engaged to the art at hand.  Politically and socially conscious, working class punk rock is well and alive on “The Lost Art of Empathy,” and that’s not a distinction to be taken lightly.  There is unbridled commitment to the cause that one must adhere to in order to be a prominent voice in these troubled times, and Voice of Addiction don’t seem to be cutting corners to make any kind of stock statement here. The opening track "Rust Belt" sets the scene to what you think this record may be all about – straight up, hard hitting, anthemic punk.  But just when you think you may have figured them all out, they hit you from out of nowhere with songs like “Petty Schemes,” “I Can’t Breathe,” and "Alcorn Queen", where structurally they venture into ALL-ular territory.  You know what I mean: jazzy little riffs that lead into atonal passages and unpredictable breakdowns – see, I did say clever, right? And of course, because reviews usually bring up comparisons of some sort or another, vocally it’s reminiscent of a perfect mix between Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Chris Cresswell of The Flatliners.  This is where I’m convinced of Voice of Addiction’s unwavering pledge to the undertaking on this release.  There is so much passion and engagement, it’s hard not argue with yourself over which song resonates the most with you. My only regret upon hearing this record was that I had been quicker to the game with VOA, as it very well would have made my top ten list of last year.  Oh well, I’ll just have to chalk it up to “better late than never” in this case. "The Lost Art of Empathy” was released July 16th of last year, and was engineered in Chicago at Bomb Shelter Studio by none other than Mr. Precision of 88 Fingers Louie notoriety.  The album is available digitally and on vinyl through their Bandcamp page, and those lucky enough to live on the West coast can catch them on their 32-date tour that kicks off May 10th in Omaha.
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