Around the time of the release of this album, it was the absolute peak of the era of Skate Punk music, coinciding with the popular Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series releases, along with similar Skate Punk cultural hallmarks. It was super cool to be a skater and listen to many different kinds of out there and aggressive music at this time. Millencolin was one such band that got some attention around this time. Originating from Sweden in northern Europe, these guys were on a musical mission unlike any other. Moving away from their original Ska Punk sound that was on their previous albums, this is their fourth album release and sold reasonably well, getting the band some much needed attention. No Cigar in particular was a popular release from this album, also included in the Tony Hawks games a few times. Let’s take a listen to this release and hear how it sounds. The album cover artwork is somewhat reminiscent of Communist artwork, oddly enough.
No Cigar begins with rolling drumbeats and repeated guitar riffs, really launching into a great tune. This song is about teenage blues and how the band doesn’t really care about those who otherwise need a lesson about life. Nonetheless, this is a powerful, upbeat and catchy listening experience that does sound great. An excellent sub three minute long piece, this sounds really fantastic and awesome from start to finish. With hollered vocals, dirty Punk guitars and pounding drums, this is a winner. Great tune.
Fox begins with another energetic drum roll, launching straight into a very Blink-182 sounding tune. It’s a great tune about the cheap and sleazy thrills of youthful sexual pleasure. Very politically incorrect here, “She’s the best ride I have ever had” is pretty out there, especially at the time of writing today. Still, this tune is another amazing and great piece to listen to. Wonderful, dramatic and simple music that is unique, Millencolin do well. There is a wah-wah guitar solo in the second half before the chorus resumes. Excellent tune. It ends after two minutes in length with a sustained note.
Material Boy begins with some sweet riffs that are upbeat and fast, before launching into another killer tune that attacks humanity’s materialism. Very clever, it is a supercharged and interesting listening experience that just works wonders. A really great and different tune to hear, this sounds very classy and extraordinary. The lyrics are quite vicious, and the musical framework is simple, but this does accurately pinpoint the stupidity of just buying stuff. Nonetheless, a great cynical tune that only lasts over two minutes. Neat.
Duck Pond begins with some more typical Skate Punk riffs, powerful drumming and guitars galore. This is a good song about being abandoned by others. A glorious and enjoyable tune about some of the difficulties of life, Millencolin are definitely underrated and overlooked on songs such as these, matching them with youthful angst based lyrics. Nonetheless, the music present is dynamic, adventurous and amazing. Millencolin makes a panic attack sound musical here. A great job throughout all the same. Nice work. Great song, it ends with more sustained guitars.
Right About Now begins with a quirky riff reminiscent of The Jam, launching straight into a tune about wanting to do whatever the heck one wants to. Again, this is an awesome and enjoyable tune to listen to. Shorter than two minutes, it is a short, sharp shock and attack musically. Very cool, this has lasted a lot longer than other bands in terms of musical quality and longevity. Excellent.
Penguins & Polarbears begins with a minor key riff, quickly launching into a melodic song about another person who clearly takes advantage of oneself in a general situation. Sure, this is a melodic minor key piece, but it definitely sounds awesome and great. A classic of its own sort, this is one of the more popular songs from the album. There is a brief breakdown in the second half of the song, before launching back into the action to conclude. The Punk version of Pink Floyd’s Apples and Oranges? You be the judge. Good listening, however.
Hellman is another straightforward listen with chugging guitars and a great sense of music and musicality, this launches into a fantastic Punk number that still sounds great to this day. An awesome and excellent tune about fearing things to the nth degree and being weak and self-pitying, this is a psychologically impacting tune. There is a musical breakdown in the second half, before the bridge emerges with some gloriously musical and chugging guitars, yet again. A fantastic and underrated tune for many to enjoy from the Skate Punk genre. Mint. It ends with some guitar feedback.
Devil Me sings about life as a member of Millencolin and the great adventures that one can have in time of youth. An awesome and listenable tune, perhaps from a fan’s perspective, this does sound awesome and legendary nonetheless. A good tune, this album is extremely consistent and loveable, even on the more unusual songs, such as this one. There is a neat build-up of chunky guitars before it launches into the outro with, “I want it all!” repeated to the conclusion. Great stuff.
Stop To Think begins with some discordant guitar chord progressions, quickly launching into a good song that is a little whiney with the singing and lyricism. Still, this works incredibly well. Not a duff track on this album, the music covers a variety of situations and emotions. There is a neat breakdown in the second half, before pounding drums, Skate Punk guitars and whiney vocals launch back into action. Another great two minute long Punk tune, excellent.
The Mayfly begins with some awesome overdriven guitar riffs, launching into an excellent tune that sounds classy and Punk. Again, this is a listenable and consistent track, this one is about broken hearts and dreams. Millencolin makes some excellent Skate Punk music for those who are interested to listen up to. A wonderful, powerful and good listen, despite the fact that this is about relationship breakups, this is something that is good to hear if you feel ordinary after a breakup with a partner. A great piece of musicianship. Millencolin is seriously underrated as a group.
Highway Donkey begins at a fast tempo, launching straight into a good and rather whiney tune, once again. Still, it’s a good whiney, as opposed to other groups out there. The guitar playing is top-notch, and it is an underrated part of this album. The music and playing here are very good. This is a tune about life’s decisions and matches well the playing with its simple and enjoyable musicianship. A forward thinking and good Skate Punk tune with many twists and turns throughout, the guitar solo in the second half is quite good and interesting as well. A strangely named song for what it is. Good anyway.
A-Ten begins with an arpeggio riff, before launching into another slower, and more moody tune to listen to. A three minute piece of Punk music that sounds quite good, being reflective of youthful teenage romance. It seems that Millencolin knew how to make a very varied Skate Punk album that kicks the proverbial. A good listening experience about wanting a lover back in one’s life, the music present is wonderful and yearning in its intent. A really cool tune with a nice guitar solo, this is another good addition to this album. Worth hearing, it ends with more sustained open chords that are heavily overdriven.
Pepper begins with some instant riffs, launching straight into a punchy and powerful tune to listen to. This was included in the Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 compilation released many years ago, but not in that game itself. Towards the middle is a quick breakdown musically, followed by the bridge section of the song. Very short, at under two minutes long, it is a very catchy and simple tune to hear. A great listen nonetheless.
The Ballad is the final and longest song on this album at just under five minutes, which isn’t that long anyway. It begins with percussion that sounds like a clock ticking before this tune launches into a slow and breezy tune that sounds incredibly pretty and decent, with strummed acoustic guitar and great vocals. Soon enough, drums enter and we are hearing a story about an individual who doesn’t enjoy life as it is. An anthemic and enjoyable listening experience, this definitely progresses nicely and has some excellent musicality about it. Towards the middle, the song really gets going with some heavily overdriven guitars and playing that is frenetic. A sad and lonely sounding piece of music, this is a reminder of the more miserable aspects of life. A story matched with lyrics, this does work fairly well emotionally. The instrumental outro has some nice melodies in the background, whilst the band jams on nicely. A decent finish to quite a good album, this ends with screaming guitars to boot, and a Hardcore outro in the fade out. Excellent.
Millencolin has made a decent and interesting Skate Punk album that is worth your ears. This may not necessarily be the greatest album of all time, but it is a fantastic Skate Punk subgenre gem. For that reason, this comes across as a good, exciting journey when the mood strikes. Should you listen to this album? Indeed you should, especially if you need a good dose of Skate Punk with light and shade musically and lyrically.
Very, very good Skate Punk music.