Chicago based punk rock band 88 Fingers Louie spent six years exciting audiences on stage at an assortment of esteemed venues in the states before going their separate ways in the wake of the release of what was supposed to be their final record at the turn of the century. However, fate had other ideas in mind and after an eighteen year break from recording, members Dan Wleklinski, John Carroll, Nat Wright and Denis Buckley decided to forge a brand new compilation at the commencement of 2017, which was recently completed at the windy city’s Bombshelter Studios.
Due to drop on June 30th, Thank You for Being A Friend features twelve tumultuous tracks inspired by all of the trials and tribulations that the ensemble have experienced since they unleashed their last album two decades ago.
It starts by storming off upon a sea of savage riffs and spirited singing as “Meds” moves maniacally in the direction of the equally loud and lively “Advice Column”. Things tone down a bit then as the lighter but no less electrifying “Knock It Off” takes over to enthral with its expressive vocals and energising instrumentation. “All the Right Words” remains relatively restrained when it’s done, mesmerising with its meditative melody and emphatic music ahead of the hypnotically heavy guitars that keep “Turned to Grey” captivating as it canters chaotically forward.
“Here’s to that Innocence” is another exceptionally stimulating addition next that serves as a superbly pressing preface to the awesomely expeditious “Catastrophe Awaits”. “The Violence of Denial” follows from here, absorbing with its bracing bassline and raucous riffs as it races rousingly towards the tremendously turbulent “2810”. “Our Tired Vices” sounds enticingly upbeat afterwards, engrossing with its graceful guitars and vigorous vocals on the way to “November’s Big Mistake”. This wonderfully rowdy offering stays entracingly fierce until “My Final Story” darts in to endow the proceedings with a delightfully disaffected denouement.
88 Fingers Louie may not have released a record in almost twenty years, but you’d never know it by how expertly assembled their material is here. Recalling the likes of Bad Religion and The Offspring with a subtle aftertaste of The Ramones and Sum 41, Thank You for Being A Friend is a finely crafted fusion of old and new school punk that’s likely to allure genre fans of all ages.