Record Reviews

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
CAUSTIC TRUTHS Magazine # 91 (Toronto - Canada) Summer 2003
For those punks who want to step up the intensity a notch, but don't want to really tread into the jock end of hardcore (or know where to start in that scene), this is a record they should consider. Awkward Thought, out of NYC, play hard punk rock with a nice metallic street punk edge. The vocals are gritty, low, and spit forth the perfect tone for the tough music they are grumbling along side with. There is a ton of emotion and sincerity in the music, which will definitely rub off on the listener. If you are not banging your head, jumping around your room, or pumping your fist while this is playing, check your pulse. - Brad Mitchell

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
WWW.ASKEWREVIEWS.COM (Massachusetts - USA) Summer 2003
This is in the long tradition of very heavy East-coast hardcore bands like Negative Approach or SSD. Very raw, very angry with no pretense about melody or “art”. A band that summons up an images of a sea of sweaty young men with buzz cuts and white T-shirts moshing in a circle of Dante’s Pergatory for all time. The old abrupt fast/slow time changes are there just like they were in ’84, and the singer has mastered the gargling-with-glass-and-gravel affect of that time as well. Awkward Thought makes neo-hardcore bands like H2O and Sick of It All sound like a pop-punk by comparison. This record is about as subtle as a pornographic graffiti drawing in a public toilet. Not the sort of music that makes bands critical darlings, but there it is, still (and probably always) attracting a fiercely loyal following. I spent an inordinate amount of time listening to hardcore bands throughout the 80’s, and kept track of the different regional scenes. Boston, DC, New York, even Rhode Island had great ones. There is a great legacy of hardcore bands from this part of America by which AT are clearly influenced but they employ a fatter dose of sheer negativity than most and lack any sugar coating whatsoever on “Ruin a Good Time”. If that is your brand of poison they will supply it in buckets The type of anger being marketed here is better articulated and more narrowly directed than say, the generic rage of the “nu-metal” top-sellers who simply throw tantrums for attention and seem to not understand why they cannot do whatever they want, whenever they want. AT’s special hate comes with a stronger sense of tradition and community, which, when you come right down to it, is a large part of what the kids are looking for in the various sub-genres of punk…It’s often music for people born with all the odds against them. Guys who will always have to work twice as hard to have half as much. With a man in the Oval Office who makes Reagan look like a peace activist and the economy wrecked deeper than the Lucitania, who knows, maybe we’ll see an angry hardcore revival…Just don’t ‘go metal’ this time, guys. - J.Trent

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
AMP - AMERICAN MUSIC PRESS Magazine (California - USA) Summer 2003
This long-running East Coast hardcore beast delivers the good with an album full of piss, vinegar, spit, sweat, and blood. A knife fight in the middle of a riot way back in the day when hardcore was so neatly categorized. A furious mishmash of punk, hardcore, thrash, and metal. A winner. (STM)

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
STRANGER AEONS MAGAZINE http://strangeview.blogspot.com or www.unearthed.com (USA)
Somewhere between Oi Punk, Powercore, Thrash Metal, and Hardcore is where Awkward Thought stands its ground. Their 2003 opus, "Ruin A Good Time" [Thorp Records], is one solid, kick-in-the-face piece of musical aggression. Awkward Thought is anything but awkward...more like powerful and frenzied. Fierce, blistering rhythms form the skeleton of the sound. Dense guitars, paired with a raw vocal yell, finishes this pummeling display of artistic hostility. Awkward Thought makes all work well. Songs of worthy note includes the rabid "Reliable Source," "Lights Out," "Please Be Gone," "Take Your Music And Shove It," the relentless "The Way It Is," and "Tell Me." This is raw, heavy, and blistering Punk. In summary, Awkward Thought opens-it-up and lets it rip "Ruin A Good Time." What more could anyone ask for?
-Bill Vogel III

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
WWW.316PRODUCTIONS.COM (New York - USA)
Stalwart NYHC outfit Awkward Thought have returned with another release that shows why this band is still standing, and strong to boot. For starters, this quintet have decisively raised its middle finger to trends and have remained a crossover entity which metal kids, punk rockers, and hardcore fans can all understand and relate to. Secondly, this durable NYC group have enough lyrical firepower to outlast the NYC Marathon, and with its unique viewpoint on life in NY and in general, coupled with a no nonsense delivery, Awkward Thought's latest 14-track collection becomes a mantra against the mainstream. And that's exactly what Awkward Thought wants to convey to everyone, a true punk rock attitude layered in hardcore choruses and old school values, something that's sorely lacking in today's sterile music scene. -Mike SOS

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
MAXIMUM ROCK AND ROLL (California - USA) January 2003
Hardcore that knows how to rock out, but not in a lame “rawk” way or however you want to say or spell it, they just plain move through their songs with the subtlety of a tank through a minefield; heavy, driving rhythm, hardcore punk with a rockin’ sense; a gruff voiced singer that has a pretty cool style of singing and clearly heard lyrics; some occasional whoa-oh’s to sing along with and a punchy beat that you can shake a fist to, band a head in time with, circle in a pit to, or do all three simultaneously. You can’t go wrong with reasons like that. Good stuff. (WM)

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
TOXIC FLYER FANZINE (Baltimore MD - USA) Issue #35
New York Hardcore that really captures the old school feel with just a punk meet hardcore feel that have an 80ís style of just hard and fast punk licks. The Awkward Thought sound has the same power as AF, GBH, Kraut, and Blood for Blood. This CD features 14 songs that are truly street core at its best. Just excellent hardcore out of the home of Hardcore. (BW)

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
WWW.CRUSHERMAGAZINE.COM
High-energy hardcore from the Lower East Side of NYC—Awkward Thought mixes it with a good dose of straight-on guitar solo work. Lyrically it’s mean and nasty, just the way it should be. It’s not super-polished, and it’s not pretty. It’s just raw emotion, plain and simple. “Take Your Music And Shove It” is a tune that hits a happy note with me, as it tells off pseudo-intellectual know-it-all reviewers that don’t get the point of this style of music. “Reliable Source” is probably one of the few, and I mean very few, hardcore love songs that exist. It’s a refreshing concept. As an observation of our country’s “supremacy”, “Lead The Way” is a righteously dignified look at what we are as the mighty USofA. John Franko’s gravely voice spits out his vehemence on this and a few more choice tracks. The musicians behind him are tight, heavy, and fast—an interesting blend. -Christine Natanael

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD (Thorp records).
FEASTOFHATEANDFEAR.COM (Florida - USA)
The fact that AT come from NYC is no surprise. It seems that playing Oi! is no longer popular except in the NY/NJ area and small parts of California. Awkward Thought are not simply Oi!, but I hear it much more over the hardcore, punk and an iota of metal. The best description would be Agnostic Front meets Negative Approach (if both were to add some big mosh breakdowns) with Choke of Slapshot on vocals. For real. Or maybe, if Electric Frankenstein met up with Exploited but picked up the pace to over 400 bpm. I was almost doing 'skinhead aerobics' to "Take Your Music and Shove It". All the song paces are menacing and at an almost blitzkrieg speed, yet catchy and highly rhythmic. Three chords my ass! Oh, and I loved that most of the songs were encyclopedic - lyrically ("Lead the Way", "Easy Way Out", etc). I mean you can't go wrong with lengthy wordage - especially when there is a semblance of a brain behind it. "Swept Under the Rug" finishes off the 14 tracks with a slow metal intro quickly evolving into a mid-paced Boston-like hardcore epic. The graphic art for the cover was great, and was done by Gary Gilmore of Wrongway Fliers... not the serial killer, which could have fooled me, as the landscape with bodies on poles (ie - Vlad the Impaler) gave this a more metal look. As they say, never judge a CD by its cover.

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
CALAMITYPROJECT.COM INDIE MUSIC MAGAZINE (Massachusetts - USA)
When I first popped in this record, I was preparing to hear some of I Scream's trademark kind of melodic hardcore. What I got was this kick ass punk/hardcore/metal mix that caught me by surprise, and totally rocked me at the same time. They have a punk/metal sound that reminds me of GBH/conflict meets sheer terror with animal from anti-nowhere league on vocals. This record is raw as fuck no frills hardcore that is straight to the point, no bones about it. The songs are thrashy and range from mid-tempo to fast paced, and they don't dance around the subject matter. They get straight to the business while rocking the living shit out of you. If you're a fan of raw NYHC or any punk/metal/hardcore stuff in the vein of GBH, Conlfict, Sheer Terror, The Business, and more, you'll fucking love this record. Guaranteed.

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
MY OWN WAY HARDCORE E-ZINE! www.noizz.nl
AWKWARD THOUGHT Ruin A Good Time – CD – I Scream Records I think I've listened to this damn CD about 20 times and still it's hard to find the right words to describe Awkward Thought. They've always been a bit of an "outsider" if you consider the trends… and they don't care. They do what they like to do and they do it fucking great. Damn this CD rocks hard, it's a combination of old school hardcore with Oi, Punk and even a bit metal but foremost HARDCORE. I guess there will be people that don't like what Awkward Thought does, but even they must admit that A.T. definitely has got their own unique style… to which their singer John Franko with his very distinctive voice contributes a damn lot. It took me a while before I got used to his vocals…. and if ya never heard A.T. before give 'em a chance and listen to this CD for about 10 times… than you will appreciate it for sure! Check it out! Rating: 8.2 -Duncan

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
XVINDICATIONX E-ZINE - FALL 2002
A bit more than a year ago, NY’s Awkward Thought released their debut on the world and most opinions were mixed on it. Some loved it, some thought it was somehow boring and what not. Personally I liked it a lot and was looking forward to new stuff right away. Well, here it is and I can tell you one thing: this band improved amazingly in just one year. Wow! John Franko’s lyrics are astonishing: extra long, pissed off and straight to the point. Also, his voice has more depth and tends to be more varied on this record. You can discover old and furious hardcore riffs on this one, as well as punk and oi!-influences. If you’re just an open minded hardcore fan that likes his hardcore fast: this is for you. Also worth mentioning is the lay out of Ruin A Good Time, which is done by Sean Taggart who also did some AF-records and Cro-Mags logo’s. Interesting record for all those who cherish NYHC as much as I do. Rating 86. Favorite song: Required Contributions

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
PITFATHER.COM
How to Ruin a Good time? Not with this Awkward Thought record. Awkward Thought earned there stripes and respect in the Punk/Hardcore scene a long time ago, and the history of the band has been told a lot. The NY based band has made a big step forward with this album if you compare it to the ‘Mayday ’release a few years ago, the song are more diverse from each other. I always liked the Weird kind of ‘humour’ that is put in some of the music and the artwork, also this time the artwork is hilarious. They just did a big European tour, so I don’t know when they will be here, but if the come, be there and don’t miss it, if this record is just a tiny taste of what to expect, it while be total chaos. Reviewer: Wilco Versteeg

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
PUNK AND OI IN THE UK WebZine (WWW.PUNKOIUK.CO.UK)
Well to say I don't usually like hardcore I was quite impressed by this, it's more like a kind of punk/oi/hardcore crossover that really works. It's like 100's of bands rolled into 1 a bit like Agnostic Front in places, excellent vocals which although they sound nothing like Crass have a kind of Steve Ignorant style rant in places. 14 tracks which should appeal to a wide audience. -Ian

Awkward Thought "Ruin A Good Time" CD.
community-2.webtv.net - www.worshipdepraved.com
Ahhhhhh yes! Good old school Hardcore/Punk/Crossover stuff from NY with members from No Win Situation. 14 tracks and in the veins of Pro-Pain, M.O.D./S.O.D. and Dick Delicious and the Tasty Testicles with the driving mosh riffs and less humor. Speedy to mid-paced stuff that just has a forward aggressiveness to it that makes you just want to get up and release the energy. This is the band's follow-up to 2000's "Mayday" which was relesed here in the U.S. and European markets as well by Blackout and I Scream Records respectively. The guys have aleady been busy with shows overseas to the tune of Holidays In The Sun Festival and have returned back to the U.S. to do the American version of that tour on the East coast. Artwork for the European release was done by Sean Taggart and it's the first thing he's done in over 10 years since his days of doodling for Carnivore, Agnostic Front and The Crumbsuckers. Besides the artwok keeping you busy, Awkward Thought's music will do the same in the form of a pit. They have started another European tour and eventually will be wrecking a home near you soon.

Awkward Thought "Fear Not" CDep.
CONCRETE REALITY (New York - USA) #7
I was lucky enough to have a promo copy of this before it came out on CD, so I was listening to the unmastered version for a month and sort of got used to it, so when I put the mastered version in and pressed play, I was amazed. This is pure Hardcore Punk, no bullshit, this is the raw form of it, the way it should be done. I can't say they've changed their style, which will please most AT fans, but they have come up with some crazy songs. These guys haven't ceased to invent something in such a limiting musical genre. -Kevin

Awkward Thought "Fear Not" CDep.
WMTDZINE.NL
One of my favorite bands return with a 7 track Mcd. They're not your typical hardcore band. They play a mixture of hardcore and punk and the vocals are very distinctive. You can recognize John's voice immediately when he starts to sing. Also the music has it's own twist. I haven't heard a band that I can compare them with and that's a good thing. Like I said there are 7 tracks on this piece of plastic, including the song "Mai Day" from their first full-length cd called Mayday that came out on I Scream a while back. (Mayday is also available on vinyl but has only been released in the USA through Blackout!. I know that only a few copies reached Holland. I got mine through Booby Trap mailorder, so hurry up if you want that nice looking colored vinyl.) Other songs are "Enough Already", "Entropy", "Rule Your State", "Goodwill", "Does It Make Sense" and "The Final Verdict". Check out the lyrics for "Enough Already" that deals about people wining about how friends stabbed them in the back. There are also some politically charged anthems on this very good Mcd. I'm just sad that it's all over just after 15 minutes. We'll, fortunately there's a repeat button on my cd player. (AR)

Awkward Thought "Fear Not" CDep.
INDECENT EXPOSURE #1 (Illinois - USA) AUGUST 2002
If you've heard them before you should know what to expect. If not imagine old school NYHC with punk learnings and a metallic crunch. Very fast, very heavy, not to be missed.

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
MAXIMUM ROCK AND ROLL (California - USA) NOVEMBER 2000.
This thing sounds so damn good, a true testimony to how much difference it makes to spend the time (and yes, the money) to record in a decent studio. The first song fuckin blows out of the gates with a riff I wish I had written myself, and the energy level stays peaked all the way through the disc. The layout and photo’s are that of a NYHC band (which is how they come off live as well) but the music owes just as much to east coast punks like SUBMACHINE or DISTRAUGHT (light on the "Dis" however) (WN)

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
SCRATCH (California - USA) OCTOBER 2000.
High tension old school hardcore punk similar in style to the PIST. It really is amazing how much the singer does sound like the PIST front man. 17 full throttle ditties dealing with hate, corruption, and despair. I know this is no new fodder for the hardcore genre, but AWKWARD THOUGHT makes it all seem palatable and fun again, in an angry sort of way. I know this is a style that has been around for close to 20 years now, I know it’s been done before, I know this shit kicks some serious ass that no metal hardcore act can even compare with. Fast furious and loud as fuck! It makes me feel so good being so angry. Feel the pain while it’s here, comrades. -Larry Lugz

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
SLUG AND LETTUCE (Virginia -USA) #66
This NY band has been kicking around for a good many years -bridging the gap between ABC NO RIO and the rest of the NYHC scene. This burst forth from the first beat into an adrenaline ride of energetic hardcore punk with a super punchy beat. It’s the perfect fuse of hardcore and punk - drawing influence and cross/scene fertilization in much the same way as Kill Your Idols. This release is power-packed from start to finish and leaves me with my mouth hanging open. This CD came out right about the time I finished up the last issue and it’s been something that I play whenever I want to just rock out and enjoy a great band and get a jolt of energy in the process. This Rules!!! Gruff vocals that are clearly heard and understood with great lyrics. A deep and heavy style, accented by chunky chuggs and powerful punch. Fueled by the energy and passion and catchy beats that make me say "fuck yeah!" -Christine

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
CONCRETE REALITY (New York - USA) #6
The realist HC Punk band in the scene today rips it up again with some old and new songs. This recording beats the tape/demo I used to listen to. Their combination of melodic Punk rock and Hardcore makes them one of my favorite bands ever. There is also an instrumental that I never heard before called "Freedom." Not to stray off the subject but their CD cover kicks ass! All of you New York urbanites will dig this cover. They have been dedicated to the scene for longer than I can remember and have done other projects with other bands like SWISH. The relentless, angry lyrics are easy to get stuck in your head. My favorite song is "Cops", Its an old one but it sounds awesome on this too. Get this CD if you want to check out some real Hardcore. -Kevin

AWKWARD THOUGHT "Mayday" CD.
Review from PASTEPUNK.COM
Another ripping release from those nice people at Blackout. AWKWARD THOUGHT have been playing around the New York area for a few years, and have evolved into quite the powerhouse of hardcore talent. The NYHC feeling is blatantly recognizable, and conjures up comparisons of KILLING TIME, SICK OF IT ALL, SHEER TERROR, and even a little bit of VIOLENT SOCIETY. After the first song, one could easily write this off as just another hardcore album, but as the record progresses, AWKWARD THOUGHT shines with their varied song structures, and ever changing dynamics. Track three, "The Advance," shows a unique sense of urgency with odd timing changes, and not a chugga chugga in sight. The lyrics are angry and frustrated, and surprisingly political. "The Defenestration of Prague," wins the coolest song title award. I first heard the song "DTL" on the "Our Own Way," compilation last year, and it appears again on this cd, which is pretty rad. "Mayday" is growing on me fast. I've listened to it about 5 times since I got it a week ago, and with every listen, I noticed something new. A very impressive debut full length.

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
MY OWN WAY HARDCORE E-ZINE! www.noizz.nl
From my new batch of CD’s I listened to this one until the last moment. Why? Because I wasn’t really convinced by AT’s qualities in the past… But after listening to it I just wanted to hear it over and over again! This shit is great! Great singalongs next to great songs! You just have to give it a try, if it makes you dance or sing along buy it! If not, well… still buy it and try later! Rating: 9.5

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
POPPUNK.COM issue 5
Not one to limit themselves, Awkward Thought attracts a wide range of music fans with their blend of hardcore and classic punk. Their fans are hardcore kids, metal heads, straight-edgers, and everything in between! If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, a listen to their release "Mayday" will give you a clue. This NY band hits you with 17 tracks that possess all the ingredients of a hardcore release – tight instruments, aggressive vocals and a fast paced style – but what makes this band so appealing to a wide range of people is that entwined in the obvious hardcore sounds you also have hints of metal, oi and street punk. This produces a unique sound with lyrics that are raw rather than just angst-driven. Their diversity shows not just in their style of music, but in their words as well. Whether you are a fan of hardcore or not, this cd is worth a listen to.

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
UNITEDANDSTRONG.COM
Finally, a full length record from NYC veterans Awkward Thought. I've been listening to shitty dubs and comp tracks it seems like forever. This record ROCKS. A few old songs from comps and 7"s, plus a whole bunch of new ones (or at least ones I haven't heard), Mayday is a great sampling of Awkward Thought's fast, hard, old-school punk driven hardcore. John Franko's (the only man to wear two hoodies, long pants, boots, a flight jacket and a knit cap on stage in the middle of the summer) vocals are rough and hard, usually delivered at a frantic pace alongside the music. Great dance parts abound, whether you're looking to thrash, mosh or pogo. Pick this record up and go see them if you get the chance. It's worth it. Two boots up. -TDS

Awkward Thought "Mayday" CD.
ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR UK Webzine
This top US HC Band are also making a big noise on this side of the Fish Pond, I’ve heard nothing but great things about them and now I’ve heard this album I cant say that I’m surprised.17 Tracks of hardhitting, (sometimes) a thousand miles an hour Hardcore Punk, very honest and sometimes treading territory where other HC bands fear to tread and more power to them for that.