Vancouver (Canada) has a noble tradition in punk-rock and
Black Halos is a band that harks back to the masters of the genre, the
New York Dolls. The single Retro World/ 1010 (Devil Doll) is the model
for all the tracks of Black Halos (Die Young, 1999): short, fast, loud,
Shooting Star, Dog Day and Fucked From The Start rhyme
with teen angst the way the Sex Pistols rhymed with desperation.
The Violent Years (Subpop, 2001) spits another dose of venom.
Some Things Never Fall is quintessential "oi" epos and
Last Of The 1% ers burns with homicidal Germs frenzy.
Far less successful when (Jane Doe) they merely copycat the New York Dolls, and when they slow down to ballad tempo (50 Bourbon St
sounds like Bob Dylan on testerone), they still deliver a few k.o. punches.
Among countless echoes of Stiff Little Fingers and Buzzcocks, epic choruses and breathtaking progressions, one can see that the band is growing up and therefore toning down their anger.
The future may lie in a song like No Class Reunion,
that has all the ingredients of a great punk-rock song but somehow sounds more
like Bruce Springsteen than Johnny Rotten.
Alive Without Control (Century Media, 2005) is the album of a trite
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