Reliance make the most of their Thumper Punk Records debut, releasing a full length album filled with melodic punk anthems sure to get crowds moving and singing along.
Reliance from Prescott, Arizona looks to have fallen out of Sheep’s Gate Ministries and their skateshop started by Matthew Clark in 2000. The band has released two albums, Crashing Down and Running following their signing to Thumper Punk Records. Running was recorded and produced by Dave Klien at his studios in LA and mixed by the legendary Descendants drummer Bill Stevenson at the Blasting Room Co.
Honestly, the promo pictures are a great example of not judging a book by its cover as I was expecting something much closer to hardcore or metal versus the skate punk on this album. In the big picture, I hear a lot of Pennywise, Bad Religion, and similar bands in the sound of Reliance and it’s very well done. From a vocal perspective, Albert Padilla sounds a lot like Greg Graffin (Bad Religion) and Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) and musically the rest of the band fall right in line.
Given those involved in the production and mixing, it should be no surprise that the sound is excellent. Too often, bands in this genre come across in studio recordings as sounding too polished with no rough edges, but that is not the case hear as there is just enough edge to the guitars to keep it out of pop punk. Songs are fast, but not too fast and there is a good variety that keeps them from blending together, which is often another issue with bands in this genre.
Lyrically, the band’s Christian beliefs come through but not in a preachy way and Albert Padilla delivers them with the authority and punk rock attitude fitting for the genre and the message. The backing vocals on the tracks are great and the different guitar parts in songs like “Life or Death” show maturity in the songwriting and construction that one usually doesn’t see in bands that have only released a couple of albums.
Reliance have released one of the more enjoyable albums of 2020 so far. Fast, tight punk rock, strong performances, great vocals, solid production, and an uplifting message combine to make a great album.
Written by John Jackson
- Hard Times
- Out of Hand
- Life or Death
- Stand Tall
- Against All Odds
Albert Padilla – vocals, guitar
Matthew Clark – drums
Robert Rodriguez – bass
Kyle Carroll – guitar
Release Date: 27 May 2020
Record Label: Thumper Punk Records