Review of The Penny Black Remedy's album No One's Fault But Your Own.
Listening to No One's Fault But Your Own by The Penny Black Remedy yields some interesting results. It's very good. It's really, very good. The first track, 95 Charing Cross Road, is an excellent singalong romp with a nice singalong punky folk style to it, which reminded me quite a bit of Rancid. From there, however, it's really anyone's guess as to what genre this falls under. I was expecting a ska-punk album, but instead it twists and turns through its 10 tracks touching on a large handful of styles.
Sounding a little like a danceable Beirut for the first few tracks, it then shifts eloquently into the Eastern-European style the first third or so hints at, reminiscent of the Decemberists with their story-driven narrative songs. There's a lot of Gogol Bordello in here too in the melody, with a dash of what Serj Tankian is doing right now as well.
It all culminates in an epic final track, Gypsy Hospital Death March, that, while staying just a little too long, sums up the album very well. It jumps sublimely between styles, building up to an impressive vocal melody with the Eastern-European instruments playing at a crescendo. It's a fitting end to a great album.
But a lot of people won't feel the same. It's a hard listen, at least, for the first few times through, until it clicks into place. The album is definitely hard to pinpoint, but once you've 'got it', it's an extremely enjoyable listen with a lot of depth.