Album review: 68 – Give One Take One

Noise punk duo 68 deliver their defining musical statement to date. Take it…

We got the vaccine so the disease cannot shake me Lord.’ You can’t say that 68 aren’t of the moment. With Death From Above 1979 recently sharing the latest incarnation of their dance-punk, and Royal Blood gearing up to the release of another blockbusting album, it’s certainly a booming time for small lineups with massive sounds. But while both those bands achieved success early, this Georgia duo has been around since 2013, and this is their third album, though feels like their true arrival – its irresistibility and sense of restlessness perfectly suited to the now, while suggesting bigger audiences beckon.

For the uninitiated, 68 are named after a car and feature Josh Scogin, the original vocalist for Norma Jean, who also went on to front The Chariot. They were markedly different musical propositions, though, as this one cleaves closer to the traditions of bluesy rock. That description no doubt conjures ideas of raw lyrical honesty and raunchy arrangements, and you’d be absolutely right to expect both. From opener The Knife, The Knife, The Knife onwards, Give One Take One offers incessant tunes in the one hand and bodacious bon mots in the other (‘Love is a fickle beast with fiscal immunities’ Josh notes on Bad Bite). 

This is an album that gives a lot, despite what its title suggests. The only thing it takes, in fact, is your time, as this is an album dense with tunes, meaning, desperation and danceability. Oh and it also takes a slight liberty on Nickels And Diamonds, the opening riff of which is brazenly pilfered from I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges. But we’ll let them off, as you know what they say: talent borrows, genius steals. 

Verdict: 4/5

For Fans Of: Norma Jean, Every Time I Die, METZ

Give One Take One is out now via Cooking Vinyl.

READ THIS: Josh Scogin’s track-by-track guide to the new 68 album, Give One Take One

Posted on March 27th 2021, 10:22a.m.
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