Ok Robot – What’s Your Reason for Existing?

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Punk is known for songs barely clocking in over two minutes and using guitar solos as sparingly as a nun would drink a bottle of Jack, but six-piece punk outfit Ok Robot has put that thought to bed on their LP “What’s your reason for Existing?”

The longest track on the album, “Watershed,” is an impressive six minutes and 14 seconds long which is extremely unorthodox for the genre. Despite the long lengths, Ok Robot makes the songs work to their strengths with tempo changes and bursts of energy sprinkled in there to make sure the listener doesn’t tune out on them.

Another song, “Monster,” has a breakdown in the middle that’s sure to make listeners nod to the beat before a solo that sounds straight from the 80s metal playbook. It’s one of the harder hitting songs and most aggressive thanks to clashing cymbals, screaming vocals and the solo is the cherry on top.

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The track “Elusive” begins similarly to “Monster” with a lulling but driving bass line and a boom-clap drum beat that helps propel the song through the droning vocals that sound as though they’re creeping up from the depths of water. The last two minutes, the song injects adrenaline into the instruments and the vocals that you’ll be powerless to not stomp your Chucks to.

On the whole, “What’s Your Reason for Existing?” breaks new ground in punk by almost combing two songs into one to make them twice as long as normal. But nothing here sounds slapped together, everything has a place and it all flows like a babbling brook of booze. This album has teeth and it’s not afraid to show them, but there are also heartfelt moments like the piano opening on “Come Away with Me” or the acoustic guitars on “Air to Breathe.” With convention and rule-breaking within seconds of each other, this is one  punk record that  will have you on your feet windmilling your arms then flicking your bic when things seem to slow down.

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