Published on June 18th, 2016 | by Denise Borders
Album Review: Useless ID “We Don’t Want the Airwaves”
I believe that record reviews are the collective response of the author’s objective opinion and taste on music in general, combined, however, with some undisputed facts. May 6th saw the release of Useless ID’s seven inch “We Don’t Want the Airwaves” via Fat Wreck Chords. The seven inch features one song off the bands upcoming album State is Burning, also on Fat Wreck Chords, plus three exclusive unreleased tracks.
We Don’t Want the Airwaves
Right Wing Fascist Killing Spree
State is Burning (Acoustic)
I have been following Useless ID’s work for over fifteen years now; surpassing their split record with The Ataris and the appearance on the Short Music for Short People comp with no great enthusiasm, all I could think of was that the band is heavily influenced by the iconic No Use For a Name. All it took for me to seriously start loving them was Useless ID’s contribution to the Rock Against Bush compilation; the LP Redemption (where the song State of Fear is originally from) is an incredible punk rock record and I still consider The Lost Broken Bones, which came out in 2008, one of my favorite punk rock records of all time – the best songs off those last two records actually form some sort of punk rock masterpiece playlist for me. Signing to Fat in 2012 was the absolute antithesis of the word surprise and a well deserved level up for the band. Still, while Symptoms (released on Fat in that same year) had some great songs on it, Useless ID mostly took the foot of the punk rock gas pedal on this record, losing energy and the pop punk aesthetic which made them stand out.
Four years later the band finally comes back to the spotlight with new music and, before releasing their next LP in July of 2016, the seven inch nicely titled We Don’t Want the Airwaves is revealed, to show where Useless ID is going musically and lyrically. The title song is simply a brilliant effort in both directions and highlights everything that Useless ID are capable of. I couldn’t imagine a better homage to the Ramones with a super catchy Ramones record titles – themed chorus, some modulation, Ray/TeenageBottlerocket – backing vocals and of course a perfect reference to the passing of Brandon Carlisle. The politically fueled side of Useless ID is evident on the two acoustic songs on this EP, while the song Tension brings back obvious relations to what the last LP felt like.
Noticeable on the entire We Don’t Want the Airwaves seven inch is the shift to an angrier singing style by Yotam Ben-Horin, who is a brilliant singer under any circumstance, the always excellent guitar work and the powerful production, which again is handled by the very talented people at the Blasting Room. I love how the EP has probably the most possible songs on it, instead of just having one song on each side, plus how the record cover is completely in line with its main subject and I’m very excited about the Useless ID comeback.