Missiles of October
Pogo Records/ Ebus Music/ Trummer Records/ Forbidden Place Records/ What’s For Breakfast Records/ Skate Pizza Records (2016)
While this one isn’t exactly new, it was sent to us out of the blue from a Belgian band of old punks, Missiles of October, and was definitely a nice surprise. You like surprises, right?
Well, good news everybody! That’s precisely what you’ll be getting with Better Days. There will be many times over the course of a listen that you think you know where it’s heading and you will be wrong. At any given point in this record, you’ll have your false sense of security shaken. Just accept that ahead of time and you’ll appreciate all it has to offer.
While this album may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the record nerds that have looked too far into the rabbit hole that rock ‘n roll opened for us will surely have their synapses firing all over the place. With it’s odd timings, strong rhythm section, sludgy overtones, intricate melodies, and vicious vocals there is some sense of a heavy familiarity that seems to be a nod to more seasoned bands such as Babes in Toyland, Unsane, Butthole Surfers, and Helmet. Yet, Missiles of October have somehow managed to rearrange every notion you may have about how that noise should fit together.
Take track “Everyday” for example — It starts as a great soundtrack to another shitty day, moves into a guttural rage, brings you down into a lull of a possible ending, and then takes a little jazz break. A really fucking good one too. Then it plows right into the next song, “Looser Man,” which also leads you to believe that the song you hear is what you’ll get, but surprise, this one goes a little prog and then ends off on a surprisingly catchy note.
Not punk enough for you? That’s cool because “Problems” and “Blah Blah Blah” will be up shortly and those are going to melt your fucking face off with the pure embodiment of frustration with the human condition. In fact, the whole album is like that. Not only does this album convey and commiserate an overall feeling of hopelessness and doom that we all know a little too well, but it also does so in a strange yet perfect package of cacophonous dissonance that will keep you intrigued long after you’ve finished listening.
If you’re looking for something positive, poppy, or upbeat, this is definitely not your record. However, if life has kicked you in the teeth one too many times and you just need something different to fill up that void, Better Days may just “Really tie the room together,” so to speak.