Review: Symphony Of Distraction - Call It Off, John

Symphony Of Distraction - Call It Off, John (2012)
Author: Seb - d4rk0n3r0cks
Contact: d4rk0n3r0cks1[at]

First of all, what to say about this album!? Knowing that I’m a fan of their previous projects (Secondshot for some members, Allergic To Idiots for others) I had such big expectations for this piece of skatepunk. It has been quite a long time since the amazing Pudwack EP was released (2010) and I was beginning to feel a hunger that would only be fed by new SOD stuff.
So, here it is, somewhere in April 2012 the new baby is unveiled and reached my door in a box I opened with the same fury as a kid in front of his long awaited christmas gift.
When I talk about skatepunk, sometimes people just don’t get it. Now I would say that this album is nothing but SKATEPUNK. If you’re looking for fast stuff, without (or with very few) hardcore or metal influcences, this is probably going to be your cup of tea. I’m not saying that hardcore or metal infused skatepunk is not great, it’s just that sometimes it feels really good to hear « pure » skatepunk.

The opus starts with the song « The Last Thing I Remember », the intro to that song is a perfect starter for the album ; the beginning is kind of slow and then the pace is getting faster and sets the tone for the rest of the album, which is going to be FAST from the beginning to the very end.

Then, I’ve been hit by the beautiful « Don’t Bother Screaming » which reminds me a lot of old NUFAN. Lyric wise, that song might be one of the best, as it shows a lot of honesty mixed with a bit of sarcasm and irony, which seems to be common thing in Symphony Of Distraction lyrics.

« Forever Echoes » is another typical fast skatepunk song, this one reminds me of Secondshot a bit more than the others, maybe because Jay is the singer in that one? Anyway, there nothing very complicated about this song but it gets stuck in your head forever (I hope you’re listening now!!!) :P

« Boy Is My Face Red » seems like an apology from Steve to a girl called « Jessica DeVries » (see lyrics). I don’t know what he did to that girl but in that song he uses an analogy to compare himself with a house with crumbling foundations but good looking from the outside. I felt the lyrics in that song are really strong and sincere. If I ever feel like an asshole and want to send apologies to a girl, I think I might tell her to listen to that song!

« Never In Doubt » feels like an obscure song to me, I tried to analyze the lyrics and came to the conclusion it might be another analogy to picture a conflict between friends (or even lovers!?) : « We could have buried it in laughter, and had better days ahead, but since the truth is what you’re after, I always assumed that your fault wasn’t ever in doubt ». Music wise, this song isn’t the most agressive one, but it’s really catchy.

« Exit Plan » is clearly one of my favorite off that cd. It’s strong, agressive and really fast. Also, it feels « darker » than most of the songs on that cd. (Think about « 9 to 5 suicide » on the ep) On the opposite of some other SOD songs, this one is not humorous. It has some references to drugs (in the nose out through the mouth, taking pills I can’t pronounce) and shows a bit of self deprecation. Despite its darker mood, I feel that this is one of the strongest songs on the cd, and I would like to know more about the story behind the lyrics.

« Here’s to Me » is a 30 second joke song about being an overweight alcoholic with no money. Nothing more to say about it! Haha

« Out Of Time, Out Of Place » is a really nice song. The intro reminds me a lot of NOFX, and some friends of mine had the same thought when I showed them this song! It feels a bit more « cliche » but still it’s an amazing song, as every goddamn song on this masterpiece is worth being listened to.

« New Cliches » is another of the strongest songs on that record in my opinion. Once again it shows honesty and sincerity, I feel a lot of emotion in that song : it’s kind of a nostalgic song where the singer is thinking of his past, he thinks about all the songs he wrote, which are now all behind him because time flies. It talks about growing up and getting out of the « punk » cliché. Here’s a lyric extract : « I’ve written more songs than I could count, about hating everything, getting drunk, self pity and self doubt, all in all I had a blast but it seems those times have passed, I pull the pants up to my waist, remove the piercings from my face… » Those lyrics are worth being read.

« Government Warning » is another joke song, basically, it’s a message about alcohol from the Surgeon General sung over a skatepunk beat. It’s interesting to note that the exact same song (with a lesser production) was also featured on the « Allergic To Idiots » EP « That Means Ewe » in 2004.

« End Of The World » is another of my favorites from that cd. I don’t really get what it’s talking about, neither do I know what is supposed to be feared on October 21, but I know that the music in this song is SO GOOD. That song contains amazing guitar work, and I really like the solo in that song. All in all, it reminds me of the song « Thrill Me » from the Pudwack EP, because of the references to the end of the world. Remember that « Thrill Me » was actually a song talking about zombies or something like that.

« Pardon My French » is a quite humorous song that was probably written in a moment where the author was mad at the world. It’s a short, fast and funny song.

The last two songs of the album, « Take The Plunge » and « So Long, So Well » are (in my opinion) showing a darker side of SOD’s sound. Both of these do not share the « funny » ambiance of songs like « Pardon My French ». It’s particularly true for « So Long, So Well », the lyrics of the song are not « dark » or anything, but whenever I listen to that song, I feel nostalgic, and I hope that it’s not a final goodbye from this band.

To sum things up, I would say that this album is a must-have for everyone who likes skatepunk. These guys are never slowing down : they got the speed and the melodies, what more could we ask for?

My personal favorite this year.
Seb – d4rk0n3r0cks