River City Rebels
Playing To Live, Living To Play

by Samuel Barker
September 6, 2001

File Under: Punk Rock
rating: B+

1. the bend before the break

2. day to day

3. gotta get it

4. small town pride

5. friday's salvation

6. devil in skin

7. 6am

8. on the train

9. long lost life

10. daddy was a drunk

11. 22 years

12. 53rd and 3rd

13. life of a rebel

14. what's in a dream

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  • River City Rebels
  • Just when you though the punk sound was being led to the land of pop, you get a CD like this one. The River City Rebels come with a great new release entitled Playing To Live, Living To Play which has all the power of bands like Rancid and The Clash and the special touch of a full horn section. This isn't some boring attempt at ska, it's a straight ahead punk band with horns. Definitely something you have to enjoy hearing.

    The album has all the intensity of the early punk scene with a tight, polished sound. The songs have an "Oi!" feel at times and beg you to sing along on them. While most punk bands are striving towards a poppier sound, River City Rebels are working on getting back to the basics and producing some quality punk rock.

    Some of the standout tracks on the album are "Day To Day," "On The Train," and "22 Years." "Day To Day" is the first complete track on the album. It's straight ahead punk rock song about trying to make it as a band and get somewhere. It's a great view into the desperation of coming up in the scene. "On The Train" deals with the idea that it's how punk you look that makes you fit into the scene. It's a check to all the kids who don't realize it's a lifestyle and not a fashion trend. "22 Years" is a song about growing up and trying to make it to a place where you can live the life you want to live. As the song states, "Caught between a dream and a job."

    This album is definitely something worth hearing. It's a lot of fun and comes with an updated version of the vintage punk sound. The horns add a great feel to the music. You will definitely enjoy this album from the get go.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at

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