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Quitters Never Win

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Album Review

Two things that punk bands usually don't appreciate: being compared to candy, and being compared to the Proclaimers. But sorry, there's just no escaping either comparison in the case of Chicago's Much the Same. Their overall sound is like nothing so much as the taste of a really good dark chocolate filled with nuts and caramel: dark, crunchy, bittersweet. And the call-and-response vocals on "Conclusion" and soaring harmonies on "Liar" sound, strangely enough, quite a bit like similar moments on the Proclaimers' early albums. That's not to say that if you're a Proclaimers fan you're going to find much to like here: Much the Same is a punk band in the grand Chicago tradition, playing tighter, faster, louder rock & roll that balances nicely the twin imperatives of jet-engine roar and singalong melody, making you feel happy to be alive by yelling joyfully about friendships betrayed ("New Years"), lost love ("One of a Kind"), and filial ambivalence ("Father & Son"). Nope, there's nothing new here, but Much the Same makes the same old themes sound fresh and vital. Highly recommended.


Formed: 1999 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The fast and melodic punk rock sounds of Chicago's Much the Same recall that of many of their influences, especially mid-'90s skatepunk acts like Lagwagon, No Use for a Name, and NOFX. Forming in 1999 under the original name of Don't Look Down, the guys played countless shows and went through various lineup changes before switching to their current moniker in 2001, following the discovery of another punk act (and future Nitro Records peer) of the same name. Releasing the EP Caught Off Guard on Tank...
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Quitters Never Win, Much The Same
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