The latest demo tape from US punks Galactic Cannibal comprises of four tracks of no-frills gruff pop punk with the emphasis leaning very much towards the ‘punk’. Upon first listen, the aplomb with which the songs are delivered is instantly palpable. Lead singer Peter J Woods eschews half-sung, half-shouted blasts of lyrics from his haggard sounding vocal chords, deploring the world and fractured society in typically unsubtle punk style.
But underneath their ruff n’ ready exterior is a certain jollity which drives the songs along and injects them with a somewhat unique positive energy which few bands can authentically muster. ‘Hate Everything More’ is the perfect attention grabbing opener – “Hey! What you waiting for? Surrender to the world” Peter screams over blistering drums and viciously strummed power chords. This is four-chord punk at its best- gritty and straight to the point. The not so cryptically entitled ‘We’re Fucked’ maintains the breakneck tempo and introduces a melodic lead guitar line straight out of the pop punk handbook as Peter continues his scathing attack on society with contempt-filled shouts of “this world fucking sucks”. ‘Air Runs Dry’ begins with Peter melodically hollering over a distorted three chord riff before the band joins the party, leading up to a crescendo of anguished screams that declare “Take these arms away!”. Final track ‘Up Against The Wall’ kicks off with a classic pop punk riff, a deliciously simple lead guitar line and supremely disgruntled vocals. The track sees the band employ simple yet effective dynamics that holds back their collective attack before releasing it with unquestionable anger for one final blast of fury.
The ten minute demo is a brilliant little nugget of pop punk that stays mostly on the angry side of things. Whilst it doesn’t break any new ground, it does emit an infectious energy that is hard to rebuff. Galactic Cannibal’s back to basics style of punk rock proves that sometimes less is much, much more. This is in-your-face pop punk, with bells on.
4 out of 5 high fives!