Friday, June 22, 2018

Winning Streak - Whichever Path You Take (Review)

Formerly known as Illegal Operation, Winning Streak is a fast melodic band that formed all the way back in 2003 and they were active until around 2006, over a decade has past and they reunited to release this record "Whichever Path You Take". This album came as a shock to me, especially when I heard about all the people that have features on this record, crazy amount of talent such as Mike Herrera (MxPx) and Gunner McGrath (Much The Same).

Right away, many drawbacks to Much The Same's 2006 album "Survive". I stopped this song, and listened to a Much the Same song, they are similar in all the right ways. This song got me hyped up to hear what the rest of the album had in store for me, this track was rad, Especially with the reminder of Much The Same.

Coming Up For Air (featuring Dave Nassie)
It was a present surprise to learn that Dave Nassie from the legendary No Use For A Name was amongst those featured on this album, and he did a killer job with his part. Lyrically, this song is amazing, maybe even my favorite on the record. It has a catchy melody, it will be stuck with me for a few days, haha.

Where Does The Time Go
This song to me sounds like a mix between pop punk and melodic hardcore, with elements of skatepunk mixed in also. Each song keeps impressing as the album goes on, which I'm not surprised because I had high hopes for this album and so far my high hopes and expectations are being met.

Whichever Path You Take (featuring Mike Herrera)
Fans of MxPx rejoice, Mike Herrera is on this record, how cool is that? Like I said earlier crazy amount of talent on this album and this track is no exception to that statement. Such a good song, Mike Herrera is the perfect person to be featured on this album, don't worry he did a great job, but did you really expect anything less?

Your Bones
"1000 years and none the wiser", to me that represents the world in general, humanity makes the same mistakes occasionally bringing us back to where we started. I'm not completely sure if that's what the song is about, that was only my opinion, but what I do know for sure is that this song is an absolute shredder.

Liar (featuring Eddie Haddad)
Opening with a bit of piano is surprisingly underused but used so well here, also love how the instruments come in slowly as the piano fades, great mastering from Chris Fogal. This song has a different flow from some of the other songs that this record provides, not my most favorite track but there is nothing negative that I can say about it either.

Sleep Alone
Back to pop punk/melodic hardcore, throughout this entire record one thing has remained the same and it is the quality of these songs, between brilliant song writing and great work on all instruments there isn't a single bad song on this record, held up to my expectations and then some. For me, this song is very quotable but I will wait for you to hear it and form your own opinion but for now, take my word for it.

The Things We Think We Know
Probably one of the fastest songs on the record, this track hits hard as soon as it starts, giving new life to the term "fast melodic punk" for sure, this band is really perfecting it with this track (and record for that matter). It is great to know that punk won't be dying anytime soon thanks to bands like Winning Streak, much respect to these dudes.

Avarice is defined as "extreme greed" for those unaware, and it represented well by the lyrics of this song. It just fits so well in 2018 with all the crazy things we have going on with Trump being president of the country, definitely a lot of greed going around that's for sure. But no matter who you are, you can't avoid being affected by this unfortunate happening.

As soon as Trump was elected president, myself and many others said that this will stand as the true revival of politically charged lyrics in punk rock, and our statement turned out to be true because almost every punk album has one political/war themed track on it. Now, that isn't a bad thing in the slightest because it is very necessary for people to relieve their anger especially when dealing with politics.

The Black Behind The Stars (featuring Gunner McGrath)
I mentioned Much the Same many times throughout this review, with good reason their influence on Winning Streak is obvious and present throughout the entirety of this album which is great becuase I love Much The Same, and to close off this record we are treated to a Gunner McGrath feature. Both vocalists knock this one of out the park without a doubt.

Conclusion: Whether you know them as Winning Streak or remember them as Illegal Operation there is no denying that "Whichever Path You Take" is a serious candidate for the Top 10 of 2018. So much star power on this album with features from Dave Nassie, Mike Herrera, Eddie Haddad, and Gunner McGrath. So, after a 12 year hiatus Winning Streak came back and gave us the record that we needed, great job guys!

Final Score: ★★★★★

Review written by: Skatepunkdefender
You can download the review in its original format here: Mediafire