Here’s another brilliant melodic punk rock release for your listening pleasure. I wasn’t aware I was familiar with this band until I heard a few songs. We included a couple of their songs on our main Spotify playlist before, so I was pleasantly surprised when these tracks appeared while listening to this CD. The Bare Minimum is a melodic punk rock band from Toronto, Ontario. In over a decade, these guys released an impressive amount of recordings, such as three full-lengths like Hit After Hit, Sink To The Stop, and Where The Buses Don’t Come. Of course, there is a self-titled EP and Why Isn’t Allen Here EP, plus many singles such as Spice Up Your Life, Bonestorm, Scars And Stripes, Party Martyr, Echo In My Head, Bitter Pill, Woah, and Conspiracy 2 (Shadowban).
As you can see, The Bare Minimum keep their activities as prolific as possible, and with their fourth full-length Is A Gateway Drug, they’re paving their way to melodic punk rock stardom. This record includes six new and six old compositions, but I will review this material as a whole. Like on their previous recordings, The Bare Minimum levitate between contemporary and old-school punk rock maneuvers, so Is A Gateway Drug will unquestionably appeal to your ears no matter which era you prefer. As soon as you press play, you’ll notice these guys know what they are doing. Each composition has a perfect structure decorated with excellent arrangements, accentuations, enhancements, and other things that define good punk rock songs. The band adapted most of the material for mid-tempo, which is fine with me because each track differs from another. Therefore, Is A Gateway Drug isn’t another bland, repetitious, boring album you stumble upon on streaming services nowadays. Quite the contrary, you’ll find this record entertaining and ear-appealing from scratch to finish.
Besides melodic punk rock, The Bare Minimum explores other similar genres like hardcore punk and rock’n’roll, so there’s a thick layer of aggression, rawness, and heaviness roaming on some tracks. The band relies upon catchy themes, melodies, and harmonies soaked into powerful riffs and four-chord progressions. The bass guitar contributes to the heaviness by delivering thoughtfully assembled low-end tones right beneath the guitar channels, but these basslines are vividly hearable throughout the entire album. Of course, Is A Gateway Drug wouldn’t sound so energetic without profoundly dynamic rhythmic sequences, cleverly implemented accentuations, fills, and other percussive acrobatics. The semi-distorted lead vocals and singalongs add up another layer of aggression over the top, so Is A Gateway Drug offers more than you could even imagine from a melodic punk rock album. Check out this release if you’re into the genre because it rips from scratch to finish. Is A Gateway Drug drops on November 4th, so keep your eyes peeled on The Bare Minimum’s website or social media pages for more information?