Apr 072023

Southern California punk band CPR317 have released Great Memories a retrospective of their catalog with three new songs and some live tracks added in for good measure covering 2014 – 2020.

CPR317 has been releasing their brand of Southern California punk rock since 2014 or so and strangely enough had a live album as their first release in 2014, which I reviewed earlier Live at Fuzion. At the time it was an impressive debut and it’s good to see those tracks making it back here in this collection along with the ep In the Business, which I also reviewed and liked back in 2016. Since then the father/son duo who are most of the band have released an ep in 2019, Turn it Up, which has the first three tracks on this release and they recorded “WhoSoEver”, “Psalm 31”, and “We’re Coming Back (live)” which is a Cock Sparrer cover to complete this compilation. From a lyrics view, the band is unapologetically Christian in focus, which should be obvious given “Psalm 31” is one of their tracks. CPR definitely fits within the Thumper Punk Records roster and reminds me at times of True Liberty who is also on that label.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at songs I haven’t reviewed before. “Turn it Up” opens very much like “Suspect Device” by Still Little Fingers, which is a very good thing and fits with how they’ve been described in the past as having Damned, Dead Kennedys, Still Little Fingers, and Cock Sparrer as influences. The song is fast, has some great gravelly vocals and perhaps some guitar parts not usually heard in punk songs. Great gang vocals, solid drums and bass work and catchiness, make this a great opening track.

“Fire the Fire” is next and has some of a Social Distortion feel to it at the beginning before picking up the pace and heading toward breakneck speed. Interesting to have a bit of a breakdown section in the middle that highlights some bass guitar work. “Rally the Troops” goes more melodic compared to the previous songs, keeping the faster parts for the chorus.

“WhoSoEver” is one of the new tracks recorded for this compilation and has a more polished, perhaps more mature feel to it than the earlier songs, even if the overall structure is somewhat similar to other tracks. “Psalm 31” is another of the newly recorded tracks and has a much less aggressive tone than other tracks and more emphasis on the gang vocals in the chorus section making it one of those tracks in a live setting that would have a lot of people singing along and in some ways reminds me of some Naked Raygun tracks. As you might imagine, “We’re Coming Back” being live and a Cock Sparrer cover has a rough edge to it, but is a great track.

After listening to this collection a number of times and looking at my earlier reviews of CPR releases, I feel as if I might have been a bit too harsh in my earlier reviews. This is solid punk rock with a variety of influences seasoned listeners will pick up.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackon

1. Turn It Up
2. Fire The Fire
3. Rally The Troops
4. WhoSoEver
5. Friend Of Mine (Live)
6. In The Business
7. Spirit
8. Psalm 31 (In You O Lord I Have Refuge)
9. We’re Coming Back (Live)
10. Hard Life (Live)
11. Die
12. CPR
13. Skull Blaster
14. Contagious (Live)
15. Frontline Workers (Live)
16. Tomorrow Is Another Day (Live)
17. Alive (Live)

Band Members
David – Drums
Jacob – Bass
Greg Hill (Jet Wilson) – Guitar

Release Date: March 15, 2023

Record Label: Thumper Punk Records

Weblinks: Bandcamp Facebook

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