Whilst a handful of years ago the concept of a duo creating a collection of dance punk anthems may seem somewhat niche, it seems that the world has caught up with ’68, and, in particular, frontman Josh Scogin‘s kaleidoscopic vision.
Whilst ’68 have been refining their sound over the course of two full-length releases, with their third record, ‘Give One, Take One’, the raw yet infectious soundscape of the duo matches their ambition.
Kicking things of with ‘The Knife, The Knife, The Knife’, grooving riffs and howled vocals lay on top of irresistible melodies and tight hooks. Laying out their deceptively simple yet effective sound from the get go, catchy riffs meet punk rock energy as the track veers between sing-along lines and running off the rails with glee. Led by Scogin‘s charismatic delivery, the song pulls off its balancing act without losing any of the tightly wound energy.
Whilst Scogin‘s performance may have dominated its predecessor, ‘Bad Bite’ sees Nikko Yamada steal the attention throughout the hardcore influenced number. Adding a playful swing to the swaggering track, Yamada flits between snappy drums and nuanced fills to ensure that it doesn’t become one note.
As ‘Give One, Take One’ continues, the duo explore blues fed punk rock with the likes of the unexpected ‘What You Feed’, as well as turning towards a more open and intimate sound like we find on ‘Life And Debt’. It showcases a more reserved approach for the duo, but for all the sonic deviations explored on the record, ’68 are still their most potent when they dive headfirst into punk fuelled rock.
With ‘Lovers In Death’ and the bruising ‘Nickels And Diamonds’ highlighting the duo’s penchant for melodically rich bursts of punk rock, ‘Give One, Take One’ proves to be at its finest when the core influences of the group take centre stage. Closing with the sprawling ‘The Storm, The Storm, The Storm’, ’68 leave no stone unturned as their third full-length comes to a crashing finale.
With ‘Give One, Take One’ tightening up their sound without losing any of their bite, ’68 have created a record that will not only impress old fans but also bring a new audience to their untethered soundscape.