Record Label: Smelvis Records/Hellcat Records
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since the last full length from Left Alone. These SoCal boys have done it once again with an album that tops their previous album…which was pretty damn hard to do.
Even though there have been tons of comparisons to Rancid, Left Alone are their own band and have their own sound. I’ll admit that there are most definitely some Rancid influences, but you can make that comparison to 700,000 other bands out there today. Where I feel that Left Alone stands out from the rest of the pack is with lead singer/guitarist Elvis Cortez. Not only is he one of the better, most down-to-earth and honest songwriters out there, but he can also sing and has a very distinctive voice. Left Alone also manages to flow seamlessly from ska to punk and back again. All of this is very evident in “Harbor Area” the bands’ sixth full length release.
Right off the bat, the band kicks it into high gear with the title track to “Harbor Area”, a powerful punk song that tells the tale of the senseless violence surrounding the bands’ hometown of Wilmington, California. That track is followed up by a classic punk rockin’ track about life’s mistakes and broken promises. They switch things up for the next few tracks with a slower rock track sandwiched between some ska punk gems. “Better Tomorrow” is one of those ska tracks and it is probably one of my absolute favorite Left Alone tracks to date. The honest and sorrowful lyrics about being in the music business and writing songs for others entertainment is backed by a slow, haunting ska riff and is accompanied by some great harmonica work. Tracks like “Better Tomorrow” are what make Left Alone so great in my mind. The songs are always honest and from the heart. There aren’t any bullshit filler lyrics.
While the first half of the album is amazing, the second half of “Harbor Area” is surely no slouch. “New World Order” throws out social commentary about the youth of America and their negligence of the world surrounding them, “Hollywood” finds the band picking it up with a danceable ska track, complete with horns, about hanging out in the city and bouncing from show to show. From there the album finishes up with some punk rock and some cowpunk tracks for your ears to enjoy.
As I mentioned before, overall this is probably my favorite Left Alone album to date. There just aren’t any tracks that I even remotely dislike and it has a lot of variety throughout the album. The songs are well written and the sound is tight. Nothing but praise for “Harbor Area” on my end. All the punk rockers and the moon stompers will surely enjoy this release.
Bottom Line: One hell of a punk/ska album. It has the right amount of everything.
Notable Tracks: Harbor Area, Better Tomorrow, Hollywood, Day By Day, Leather Bound Book, Broken Promise