A Zsk a day helps anarchy work, rest and play
Anger. Empty cans in the park and dye in the hair. Flaring tattoos and novelty memorabilia from world wars, bastardising the meaning of evil instruments in a beautifully ironic way. Shreds of torn up letters from lost ones and angst everywhere... These are the pictures that come to mind.
The 14 track beating is in actual fact a compilation from the Berlin-based four-piece, as a German punk band such as this clearly has trouble in releasing on an international scale and needs to make the most of it when they do. So this is one of those rare exceptions where a 'best-of' selection is very possibly a necessary evil.
The tracks included are by and large with English lyrics, which means Zsk is a band that have tried to bend to cater the crux of the fanbase. They have toured with the likes of Bad Religion, The Distillers, Agnostic Front and more; such names will surely sharpen the already visible portrait that lingers in your mind's eye.
As to be expected, 'We Are the Kids' is an album full of protest and rebellion. First track 'Hello 1984' gives a fairly good representation of Zsk and their passion for the political backbone in music and the bloody meanings that has the potential to be thrust into ears. But with songs such as 'Keine Angst' and 'This is Our Answer' and then followed with 'Where Are You' and 'Small Steps', Zsk seem to have a flaw. Surprisingly, when they let off the power and try to calm things down slightly, this is when they falter. Taking these last two mentioned songs in mind, both are very similar in chord progressions and structure, the wording themes, and produce a type of watered down energy that makes you want to urge them to never lay off the speed and guts that they supplied in the last song.
Despite their roots, its style is highly Americanised and finely stylised stuff that points a finger towards an audio world that has had to take on board some of pop's gospels and what will simply make a catchy song (Basic melodies and lyrics and something that doesn't push your crowd over the edge). The fact they have made a release with English in mind means that they are finding ways in which to swerve into a major community. For what purpose is completely up to the listener to decide.
But by the end of it, you'll have to admit they have more potency than you may have initially thought. The pounding and fervent messages combined with a mix of the romantic and the everyday makes the album have varied meaning and colours, which is an especially hard thing to do for a punk album. They are the Socialist razor brought to the throat of mainstream.