Useless ID: Symptoms

Useless ID is a four piece punk group composed of Yotam Ben-Horin, Ishay Berger, Guy Carmel, and Jonathan Harpak. They’ve been the poster boys of the punk scene back in their home country of Israel for nearly two decades now, and their latest work, Symptoms, gives them good reason to be. Symptoms marks the group’s seventh full-length, and their first with Fat Wreck Chords.

Ben-Horin’s vocals are powerful throughout the entire disc, but the great raw sound and aggression he can pack into his voice are best exemplified on tracks like “Normal With You” and “Sleeping With Knives.” For cleaner, but still great vocal samples, listings like “Symptoms” and “Somewhere” are perfect. For the most part, Useless ID sticks with the pop-punk and rock elements, with the fast paced “Manic Depression,” while some undertones of traditional punk are there with songs like “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” and “Before It Kills.”

This album is definitely all-around effort. While Ben-Horin’s voice is for the most part great, Berger and Carmel, on lead and rhythm guitars respectively, fill any holes there may be. Berger’s riffs in “Live Or Die” and “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” bring the songs to another level, while the rhythm guitar on “New Misery” gives it an energy that’s unparalleled. Coupled with excellent lyrics and great percussion, it marks the best cut off the record.

As a whole, the songs are extremely catchy and will undoubtedly induce some physical response like a foot tap or head bob, but don’t let that fool you, as most of the tracks illustrate some sort of bad relationship or betrayal. “Somewhere” is different both stylistically and thematically, as it’s the softest track on the disc and offers great closure and a tone of hope. It caps off the disc beautifully and made me immediately click the skip button to start the disc over again.

In A Word: Catchy