One If By Land “In The Fire Of My Youth”
One If By Land may be a somewhat unusual name for a punk band but it is one that you should get used to hearing, as they could become very big going by this album. The band are actually a four piece from Meadville, Pennsylvania. Whilst new, the band actually includes ex members of The Twirpentines, Signal Home, The Walnut Street Project, The Caddies, and Waiting for Never.
They begin with the statement of intent which is “Yesterburner” which is a great melodic, punk racket. It has to be said that the sound is very reminiscent of The Menzingers (no bad thing given how brilliant their last album was!). “You’ll Be Missed” keeps up the same feel and shows how the use of hard vocals against the strong melody of the song really works. There is a continued sense of aggression and passion with “Nothin On Us”, but still with an ear for a tune which holds the whole thing together.
The band slows things down a tad with the start of “Handouts”, but it then revs up in to a song which could almost be an early Gaslight Anthem song. “Winded” also shows a very early “Sink Or Swim” feel and is the sound of an angry and hungry punk band delivering a tuneful song. They really allow their ‘pop’ sensibilities to breathe on “The Things I Love” This is more like a punk band realising that their Dad was right that Springsteen has done some great songs. The more spoken vocal approach also brings to mind The Hold Steady.
In case you are in any doubt, there are still songs on this album which show the band is a punk rock group. This is particularly true in the mid album combo of “In The Shade” and “Do I”. These two are definitely more straightforward punk songs. They lack the melody of some of the other tracks but are probably the ones which will get the mosh pit going.
Given so many punk bands these days seem to be disbanding and seeing members convert into singer songwriters, it is great to see a band like One If By Land taking up the gauntlet. Along with bands like The Menzingers and The Restorations, they have managed to produce a collection of songs which are based on a melodic tune but lose none of their punk passion and integrity. Whilst the name may not be the catchiest, you can clearly see this band generating a hard core of devoted and passionate fans. It has the level of intensity and desire that just seems to attract the everlasting devotion of a fan.