Day 10: Billy Talent – Billy Talent II

Day 10: Billy Talent – Billy Talent II

Tracklist

  1. Devil In A Midnight Mass – 2:52
  2. Red Flag – 3:16
  3. This Suffering – 3:52
  4. Worker Bees – 3:44
  5. Pins and Needles – 3:11
  6. Fallen Leaves – 3:19
  7. Where is the Line? – 3:49
  8. Covered in Cowardice – 4:12
  9. Surrender – 4:06
  10. The Navy Song – 4:31
  11. Perfect World – 3:06
  12. Sympathy – 3:18
  13. Burn the Evidence – 3:40

About the album

Billy Talent II, is the third album and second self-titled album released by Canadian punk band, Billy Talent. It was released in June 2006 to much success in Canada and Europe, but not that much success in the United States.

Thoughts on the tracklist

The album opens with a bang, with “Devil in a Midnight Mass”. At 2:52 it is the shortest song on the album, but that doesn’t take away from it. The song has enough energy to make energy drink, Red Bull useless. No expense was paid by the band to ease fans into the album, with “Devil in a Midnight Mass”.

“Devil in a Midnight Mass” quickly segues directly into “Red Flag”. “Red Flag” is in-your-face, loud, violent, make you want start a mosh pit…. or raise your fist in the air. A protest anthem if their ever was one.

Some other highlights: despite relatively slowing things down for a stretch near the middle, every song pushes full steam ahead with precise, spanking-clean playing and multiple vocal attacks. Songs like “Surrender” and “The Navy Song” don’t deter to far from the Billy Talent framework.

“The Navy Song” rolls forward steadily alongside Solowoniuk’s unwavering drumming. Even songs like “Perfect World”, a standard breakup song, receives a good jolt, never losing  the band’s typical and ever-present cynicism.

Thoughts on the album

I first heard the song “Red Flag” while playing EA Sports’ NHL 06. Immediately I was hooked. I downloaded the album and loved it. I’ll admit from time to time that Kowalewicz’s vocals do sound a bit whiny, but the harmonies and melodies make up for it very nicely. The guitars are muscular and pack a punch all throughout the album and combine that with the unwavering drums, and you have yourself a successful album.

The band and album mean business packing muscular guitar riffs and passion packed shrieks. I love the direction that band went in for II. It might be less anger and language filled, but it’s definitely a good thing. Mellowing and progressing is all part of maturing, but Billy Talent still doesn’t lose sight of who they are.

Bassist Jon Gallant said it best about the album:

We wanted to do something completely different from the first record because we had changed dramatically and had learned a lot from personal relationships. Everyone in the band is partnering up and dealing with those issues.

The general theme of this record is trust, the lack thereof or breaking up. That seemed to fuel the record.

Conclusion

There’s just so much passion packed in here that Billy Talent easily blaze through almost 50 minutes… a marathon for some ADD-riddled listeners, but somehow isn’t… having compelling dexterity and power. I thought I’d bring this band to the attention of anyone who may have had the misfortune of never hearing them. There is something for everyone in this album, despite being very cliched, is true. If you are an avid music lover, there is just no way you can justify missing this one.

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