Dead Broke (2017, Reissue)
In the never ending quest for punk points and the desire to know everything, even the craziest of us often fall short. I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with Fifteen. While I freely worship at the church of Crimpshrine, for one reason or another, I never picked up on Fifteen during those formative punk rock years when I was younger. I think in the 90's there were certainly less resources to buy everything I may have wanted to check out, either from lack of availability or (much more likely) limited funds to chase everything down with.
So we come to 2017. Dead Broke Records has started to rerelease some Fifteen records, starting out with a 7" and an EP. I guess now is as good a time as any to jump in. I have to say, while I enjoy this 7", it's not the sort of mind blowing revelation as when I rediscovered Seaweed in my mid thirties. Not that the bands are occupying the same sort of sonic space or anything, but when I started listening to Seaweed I was so utterly knocked out with how fresh and powerful those records were. With Fifteen, I'm not quite as wowed.
Frankly, all four songs on this 7" sound a little old and somewhat dated. There's definitely a sound from the late 80's and early 90's that sort of stayed there. That's not good or bad, it's just one of those things, sort of how it's impossible to not think Promise Ring records sound a hundred years old now (again, not that Promise Ring sounds anything like Fifteen either). Anyway, in comparison to Crimpshrine, Fifteen take a much more subdued approach to everything. In some ways, I feel that more emphasis is placed on the lyrics and this is certainly a band with something important to say. Musically things are a bit sparse and I never completely feel the sort of fury and energy that I'd get from Crimpshrine. And I get it, Fifteen is not Crimpshrine. Sometimes it's just hard to separate bands like this from each other.
I like the songs on this 7", I guess I just don't love them. I've got an LP from Dead Broke that I'm going through as well. While I'm absolutely not giving up on going through more Fifteen releases, I guess I was just expecting something a little louder. Still, I'm glad that these records are more readily available to give a few other dinosaurs like me a chance to check out something we missed the first time around.
Fifteen - Liberation 7":