What happened to Punk? Weren’t we attending every backyard brawl just to hear a band that would inspire us to knock heads with our fellow thrashers? Caffiends latest, No Gods No Decaf, comes at you like a golden egg through a goose. “Anthem For A Shittier Tomorrow” shoots right out of the gate with intent; “Succubus” immediately follows through with skinning force. With fast and catchy lead riffs, rivaling thick driving bass lines, and spot-on trad punk-skins, “Hello Reality” brings everything that was once beautiful from ’90s-era pop punk to the forefront in what feels like a skatehead’s ballad to life.
Be that as it may, the most note-worthy titles on this album are the fast, thrashy, party-hearty death jams. The first of these, “Dillinger Four is a Gateway Drug,” comes out swinging for your guts, and won’t let up until you’re bruised, bloodied and grinning from ear to ear. Its dirty riffs and machine-gun drums will call you back to the pit once more.
At the peak of this album, “A Light at the End of the Funnel” immediately hooks you in with bass progression that’ll turn a crawl into a sprint. The vocals play on our bittersweet memories of getting drunk and wasting time: our beautiful anthem. Following this thought, the bass and skins go quiet to usher in the guitar’s melancholy lead. This track may very well leave you with a sense of longing that you can’t quite place.
Not to worry though, as this notion is immediately replaced by a “Hangover Fart” that’ll soil your drawers. Following is the phenomenally thrashy tribute to the 90s, “I Wanna Get a Mohawk,” egging you on to jump from the stage, elbows flailing, into a thrashing mob of sweaty moshers.
With an album that goes as hard and as fast as No Gods No Decaf, how do Caffiends round off this harmonic cacophony of punk-rock standbys? Through the titular track, “No Gods No Decaf.” Quite possibly one of the hardest tracks on the album, it concludes this fast-paced, one-band thrash-fest with a well-warranted bang.
Throughout the album, a saxophone takes to the stage alongside these talented thrashers: the final track being no exception. Caffiends bring one last surprise in the form of, to date, one of the greatest saxophone solos to grace Punk-Rock (can’t say that very often, now can you?). It maintains its jazzy roots, while keeping pace with high-octane guitar, culminating in an experience that summons all your dear memories of getting your ass kicked at all those old living room and backyard shows.
No Gods No Decaf gives us a solemn promise that Caffeinds aren’t done by a long shot, and they’re here to help you break your shit and burn down your house. Party.
Caffiends – ‘No Gods No Decaf’ (album review) by Graham Johnson