If you never heard about Ten Foot Pole, you probably missed quite a lot about skate punk music for years. This renowned group is standing firmly for nearly three decades by delivering nothing but pure quality recordings to the broader punk rock audience, but their history dates way back when they were known as Scared Straight. The group changed the name with Swill, a legendary debut album that still stands as a favorite among many punk rockers. However, it would be such a shame not to mention records such as equally legendary Rev, Unleashed, Insider, Bad Mother Trucker, and Subliminable Messages. Later on, Ten Foot Pole also released Setlist and Escalating Quickly.
Like the vast majority of groups during the pandemic, Ten Foot Pole spent their time wisely by recording acoustic versions of their songs. These sessions resulted in a Simmer Down, an acoustic album comprised of eleven numbers. This material includes six brand new songs, three tunes from Escalating Quickly, a number from Setlist, and a couple of numbers from Rev, Insider, and Unleashed. Simmer Down maybe lacks a couple of hits from Bad Mother Trucker and Subliminable Messages, but that doesn’t spoil the fun at all. The complete album sounds like these compositions meant to be compiled together at some point in their career. Ten Foot Pole always had quality sounding production on their recordings, so this is the case with Simmer Down as well.
The brand new compositions are sounding like a charm. Each number articulates in a specific, intimate, confident manner, while the acoustic instruments provide a different perspective on the tunes that would probably end up on a high gain-driven full-length album. However, this material would probably sound equally good if these songs were performed regularly by entirely distorted guitars and fast-paced rhythms. On the other hand, older compositions went through some rearrangements or minor changes, so they could sound incredibly good as acoustic versions. Besides impressive songwriting and composing skills provided by Dennis Jagard and the rest of the group, you’ll notice how much attention Ten Foot Pole paid to all the details, accentuations, and arrangements throughout the entire album. Each number includes loads of delightful moments that will impress admirers of acoustic sets, but also gather die hard fans who get used to the original versions of these compositions.
Maybe these new tunes will find their way on the next full-length, or perhaps they serve as an overture for what’s about to come next. Whatever may be the case, Simmer Down sounds incredible from scratch to finish. It’s important to mention the guests on the album, such as Dan Palmer (guitars in Sarcasm Decoder), Aaron Rubin (bass in Sequels and Scars), Keith Divel (guest guitar in Broken Like Me), Emmet Van Slyke (guest guitar solo in Numb), and Artem Litovchenko (cellos in The Getaway). I must admit that this exclusive Bearded Punk Records color in color/blob/egg yolk variant looks incredible and perfectly goes with the visual aesthetics of Simmer Down. Other than that, you can find other exclusive variants at People Of Punk Rock Records and Disconnect Disconnect Records.
The visual identity consists of an acoustic guitar placed at the right side of the front cover artwork, while the back showcases the tracklist. The LP version includes an inlay with lyrics and all necessary information about this record like guest appearances, line-up, thanks list, contacts, etc. The compact disc and cassette versions include the piano version of My Wall, so if you’re into bonus tracks, you can grab these items as well. Highly recommended for the fans of Ten Foot Pole, who’re looking out for great acoustic sessions. This vinyl will look incredibly good in your record collection.