To understand where Countless Thousands are coming from you’ve got to go back to the ’70’s. For many this is when true punk rock started. Thanks to a band who had very little commercial success at the time, but who today are treated as legends of the genre. With just four chords and one manic tempo, they blasted open the clogged arteries of mid-’70s rock, reanimating the music scene. Their genius was to recapture the short and simple aesthetic from which pop had strayed, adding a caustic sense of trash-culture humor and minimalist rhythm guitar sound.
That band was New York’s, The Ramones. To be fair, Countless Thousands differ, in that their rhythm guitar riffs are much more complicated and rock driven.
At times both hypnotic and frenetic, Danger Van Gorder, delivers pile-driver guitar riffs that will pin you to the floor, while Jon David on Drums and Davey Munch on Bass, bust your gut wide open with rock solid engine room rhythms. You have to keep reminding yourself that Countless Thousands, are in fact, only three guys beating the crap out of rock n’ roll!
The album We’re Really Excited To Be Here kicks off with the track entitled “Overture”, and in true punk rock style it rolls in with straddling high tension guitar, bass and drums. Danger’s vocals quickly set’s the desired pace and mood. The musical arrangement is reminiscent of classic early U2 before the crappy synth stuff.
Track 2 takes us to “Fickle” which is true punk in typical Ramones style. Straight hard-on rhythms systematically meant to knock the cob webs from your ears, while Danger hollers the immensity of his lungs straight through every guitar riff. A touch of genius is added by the almost angelical female counter vocal phrase arrangements.
We’re onto track 3 “The Chemical Exchange”, which shoots off like a locomotive into the way beyond. The band remain tight and solid, while once again Danger shows off his rhythmical riffing prowess on the six string instrument. 3 minutes and 48 seconds of adrenalin pumping rock.
When moving onto track 4 entitled “Minor Sounds Of Inconvenience”, I’m already neatly tucked into my armchair. My monitors thump out the excellent drumming by Jon David. This so far is clearly the track where Mr. David shines like a bat out of hell. The rest of the band obviously don’t give in, so Davey Munch and Danger Van Gorder, cling on to every bass thump and snare smack they can lay their ears on. This is vintage punk rock from a great band. The vocals reminded me so much of the immense Joe Jackson back in his heyday.
Down to number 5 and up comes “The Asskickers Union”. This is an acoustic guitar and vocal number. But don’t be fooled, it’s hectic and manic, something between the Daytona 500 and an Irish jig. Make sense? It doesn’t have to, it’s punk babe!
“A Pirate’s Shanty” takes us to track 6. Danger kicks ass all over the place on this one, his guitar is caustic and cutting while the vocals are precise and to the limit. Just when you think, “That’s it!” Danger wraps it up with a swirling guitar solo. Woowee!
Track 7 “Too Close To Call”, needless to say is quickly dominated by Danger’s clever guitar riffs and superb vocals, layered with some neat octave harmonies. Once again drummer Jon David and bassist Davey Munch excel, making Countless Thousands a tremendously solid powerhouse trio.
Track number 8 and we’re only halfway there. “Prom Song” hops and skips sweetly along a slightly stretched rubber band rhythm. Leaving you just enough space and time to catch your breath and get ready for the next track.
“The Patriot” track 9, is a rhythmical gemstone and one of my favorite tracks on the album, very Green Day..ish, but kicks so much harder with Danger’s ragged guitar riffs. This is classic punk rock at the highest level.
Track 10 “The Scientist Applied For A Grant But Is Denied” is another acoustic guitar and vocal track. Danger staggers in with his usual rhythmic nonchalance, adding and outraged voice crying to be heard, whilst in the background we hear the return of the female vocal harmonies. Brilliant, with some clever tongue in cheek lyrics.
Ever heard of rockabilly punk? Listen to track 11 “Three Hours’ Sleep”. Six seconds into the song and I was beating the rhythm out on my knee with a ballpoint pen and a toothpick. Infectious, relentless and oh so danceable. Spin this track at full volume for best results. Warning: This may be hazardous to your health!
“Our Queen, Complacence” is up at number 12. This is where Davey Munch on bass carries the lighted torch. He launches the beat, sets the pace and dominates the track unashamedly with some sublime bass picking and thumping.
“No Contest”, is an acapella punk rock dream like you’ve never heard before. I would buy this album for this track alone. A bittersweet vocal orgasm where Countless Thousands simply sing it you! No frills needed.
Track 14 takes us to “The Devil And Davey Munch”. Sounds like a punk rock version of Gunfight At The Ok Corall put to music. Challenges and face-offs run riot as the band put their musical creativity to the rock n’ roll test. Who’ll win this one? Get the album and find out.
“Thanks For CockFosters” is another one of my favorite tracks. And yet another acoustic number, which this band do so well. This one is particularly intense, with Danger taking his vocals and lyrics to the limit and beyond. I listened to this track 8 times in a row before moving onto the next. Some songs in their simplicity have that one special thing that you just can’t put your finger on, but you know you love it. This is that song and you’re gonna love it too!
“Danger Struggle With A Bottle Of Organic Honey” is the final track, but it’s a surprise so I won’t tell you about this one, save to say, thatafter 16 tracks I’ve just realized that apart from the music, these guys have the most original track names I have heard in a decade!
Countless Thousands really give you the impression that they’re really excited to be here. Their music is energetic, original, manic and often tongue-in-cheek. They epitomise what punk rock should sound like in the 20th century. They are totally unpretentious and brand a rhythm section second to none, indie and major label artists included. Danger Van Gorder is clearly the cherry on top and plays some of the most delicious rhythm guitar riffs around.
The 16 track album “WE’RE JUST REALLY EXCITED TO BE HERE” can also be purchased at CD Universe: http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=8548482
Finally, Countless Thousands are working on their very own website where fans and friends can find them at: http://countlessthousands.com
We highly recommend this band regardless of your taste in rock.