Sold Out of Love is a very solid punk rock album from The New York Rel-X on TKO Records. The sound is very driving punk, with tight rhythms and substantial vocal delivery from lead singer Erika Sushi. Imagine a slightly less prolific, female fronted Descendents, with no goofy shit and more of a focus towards standard time signatures.
Harmony vocals, punk rock guitar strumming, bashing drum blasts, and malevolent bass playing round out this album. But what struck me first was the cover. This album features a comic book style female character covered in blood, apparently hiding from something. Very dramatic. I always love a good scary album cover as it's really a lost art.
Once you hear Sold Out of Love, each track feeds off of the previous tracks. When I put it on, I generally listen to the whole thing through. This is a fairly well put together album, but it probably could have been recorded better. It is what it is, though, and you don't need to have a large budget to get your point across with this album. The album was released through TKO, where I'm noticing a pattern of releases: very consistent recordings and well organized albums. I commend them for taking the time to take care of that aspect of the release, which is yet another lost art.
The album clocks in at around 30 minutes, which is perfect for a drive to work. Standout tracks include It's All Wasted, which features dueling male/ female lead vocals. I also like The One She Adores, with a kick ass thrashing chorus that often finds me singing along. Another interesting track was Sorrow is a Prison which again features a great driving chorus.
What's really cool about this album is that there are influences from earlier thrash punk bands, but this album does not sound old. It's not necessarily new music either, but it's a nice change of pace from what a lot of people consider early hardcore (and what I consider bad heavy metal). While The New York Rel-X are not really starting any revolutions, they are establishing a sound that hasn't been heard in quite a while, and I for one appreciate the attempt. You could say it's Fresh. Minty. Bloody.
From the Website, The New York Rel-X have toured with legends such as the Misfits, UK Subs, US Bombs, Agnostic Front, and the Exploited. I thought I had heard of this band before, but they've only been around in one manifestation or another since 2000. The founding members are Johnny Kray (of The Krays) and Adi "Monsta" Evron, a NYC Punk Rock Promoter.
I'm sure there's a good show to see with the Rel-X, but I'm afraid they'll only be openers for a while. I'm sure there will be a second album, because this first one definitely shows the potential the band possesses. I look forward to see them play one day.