Album Review: Belvedere – “Revenge Of The Fifth”
It’s been a full 12 years since Canadian skate punk outfit Belvedere released what at the time was ostensibly their final album, Fast Forward Eats The Tape, going their separate ways in 2005. However, some 11 years and a reunion tour later, they are back with their wonderfully titled new album, Revenge Of The Fifth, and I’m happy to report they have not missed a beat.
Make no mistake, Belvedere are not a band that stray wildly from what garnered them such a strong underground following in the first place. This album is pure punk from start to finish, played at breakneck speed, with surprisingly melodic vocals. Right from the opening track Shipwreck you get a nostalgic ring of the late 90s/early 00s with distinct undertones of Bad Religion and Propaghandi, mixed with Belvedere’s unique style.
Hairline (the first single taken from the album) opens with a big melodic riff, and heavy guitars which verge on going beyond punk and into metal territory at various points. This is a trend that continues throughout the album with The Architect, Generation Debt, and the title track Revenge Of The Fifth containing similar elements. This is not a criticism in any respect, and at times doing something that works really well and sticking with it is an underrated quality in a band.
For me, Revenge Of The Fifth conjures up a sound that epitomises my late teens, and provides the sort of big, energy filled punk numbers which would not have been out of place on the short lived, but much loved, P-Rock music channel, which helped shine a light on small punk and ska bands in the UK in the early 00s. There is a lovely nostalgia, but also some serious rock going on with Revenge Of The Fifth. Perhaps the standout track for me is Years, which perfectly encapsulates the sound of this album. It’s fast, punchy, has a certain nostalgic quality to it, but equally wouldn’t deter someone from wanting to jump into their nearest circle pit. Such is the energy of this band, and the sheer enthusiasm that dominates every second of this album.
Revenge Of The Fifth will probably not be to everyone's liking, and the fact that the band’s sound is somewhat limited might deter some. However, to those who want to be reminded of a different time, and want some good old-fashioned skate punk in their lives, you could certainly do worse than getting your hands of Revenge Of The Fifth.