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Useless Id - Redemption

  by Alex Halls

published: 22 / 7 / 2005

Useless Id - Redemption
Label: Kung Fu Records
Format: CD


Fifth album of accomplished, if somewhat stereotypical pop punk from Israeli band Useless ID

Whilst many of their contemporaries back home are busy secluding themselves from Palestine, at least this group of Israelis is branching out in the most productive way it can. Formed around 1994, in the Israeli port of Haifa, Useless ID consists of: Yotam Ben Horin (vocals, bass); Ishay Berger (guitar); Guy Carmel (guitar); and Yonatan Harpak (drums). The band played its first gig just outside the Israeli capital Tel Aviv in January 1995 before visiting the United States in 1996, initially for one show, which later turned out to last a little longer. Touring certainly appears to be Useless ID’s salvation, as it enables the band to escape their country’s troubles and the mental strain that comes from living in what effectively is a war zone. This, their fifth release and the third on Kung Fu records, the record label that helped make Blink 182 and The Ataris famous, names itself 'Redemption', a title also used for the concluding track of the album. Occasionally sounding like Green Day, which is certainly the case in early track 'Pink Stars and Magazines', where Yotam sounds very much like Billie Joe, Useless ID is a band on the up and one that will appeal to the newer generation of punk-rock devotees. There are some really infectious tunes on 'Redemption' and opener, 'It’s Alright', is an excellent example of this. The tune is catchy; it builds into one of the better tracks on the album as it also has good lyrics and indicates that Useless ID is ready to make its mark. 'State of Fear', a track used on Fat Wreck Records compilation 'Rock Against Bush vol.2', runs along the same lines, with its poignant lyrics but a more important meaning; indicating the dread of terrorist attacks, something Israel has had to deal with for some time now. Also present are melodic elements that move swiftly into faster airs and back again flawlessly too, which undoubtedly appears to be Useless ID’s style. This very melodic incorporation manifestly comes across in 'Turn Up The Stereo', a great song, and unquestionably reveals the effects of having frequently toured America’s West-coast as it has California written all over it. It begins to sound like Lucky 7, a band that was a specialist of this type of punk rock for a short while but appears to have disappeared from view. 'Redemption' may sound somewhat pop-punk oriented in its best part but this is not solely what Useless ID is about. There are plentiful exhibitions of aggressive guitaring and the band is never worried about getting gritty with the lyrics and vocals too. Pop-punk, as a matter of course, regularly approaches the subjects of love and girls as song material for its emotional resonance: Useless ID conforms as these topics are covered in 'Kiss Me, Kill Me' and 'Dying Love'. The latter proves that these kinds of lyrics can be coupled with a powerful tune, the inspiration plainly coming from Yotam’s time spent with The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ album. Anyone who would consider themselves a fan of No Use for a Name will find much the same sort of material on Useless ID’s 'Redemption', material which, at times, easily outshines the more popular of the two bands. Generally feel-good and quite pleasing musically throughout, if a little stereotypical of the pop-punk genre which is substantiated in 'Suffer for the Fame', 'Redemption' is exactly what it makes itself out be: enjoyable, meaningful and evocative. The album won’t blow you away but is one of those you can bring out from time to time to cheer the mood: exactly what pop-punk is there for.

Track Listing:-
1 It's Alright
2 Kiss Me. Kill Me
3 Pink Stars And Magazines
4 Deny It
5 Suffer For The Fame
6 Tum Up The Stereo
7 Before I Go
8 Dying Love
9 Drinkage
10 Everything Tums Red
11 State Of Fear
12 Redemption

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