A polished chunk of pop punk, 'Strange Ways Of Going Home' is the decent debut album from Frankfurt band Sep7ember. Rather than try and be clever and alternative Sep7ember have kept it simple and straight forward, creating something that is well able to hold its own in a crowded market place.
Tracks like 'Rocket To Somewhere', 'I Hate NY' and 'One Thing' buzz along with the cutting zeal of a zip saw. 'Remaining Days', 'View Into Blur' and 'So' have a slower groove but nonetheless maintain the straight ahead course. A bonus track, an acoustic version of 'So', sees the album off in subdued fashion that is not as ill fitting as you'd think.
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'Strange Ways Of Going Home' certainly has drive but not the aggressive thrust that punk should have. It has more of a subtle, disturbing tone that percolates through the noise like the sound of the graveyard hours in the city: well lit but surrounded by darkness with the hum of the factory nightshift dry brushing the deserted streets.
The album grumbles along with the ease and familiarity gained from plenty of gigging, some of the songs dating back to the band's inception in 2007. However, whilst they may sound great on stage where Sep7tember probably spits fire and nails, here the rough edges have practically been buffed out, rendering 'Strange Ways Of Going Home' the sort of inoffensive album that Doreen the arch Coldplay fan would listen to when she really wants to rock out; the sort of punk that gently sucks your big toe rather than gobs into your porridge.
The blurb promotes Sep7ember as being "the answer to all who have lost faith in noisy, barefaced Rock n' Roll". Well, round this way faith was never lost and good as it is, 'Strange Ways Of Going Home' is far too nice to be able to do anything about if it were.
Certainly not the worst album of this kind of stuff you'll hear this year.