After the 18-minute single, "Year of the Pig," which eloquently spoke for the often voiceless Canadian sex workers, fans had no idea what to expect from Toronto's most adventurous punk band. THE CHEMISTRY OF COMMON LIFE is often bruising, but as much for its quiet moments as its heavy ones. Singer Pink Eyes has retained his blustering, gruff voice, but the music surrounding him is more subtle and shaded, borrowing equally from artier acts like Sonic Youth and the blunt force of Black Flag. "Crooked Head" and "No Epiphany" arrive on waves of feedback and frothy washes of keening guitar, but sturdy tracks like "Black Albino Bones" and "Days of Last" stomp and rumble with pure vintage hardcore strength. The album's closing title track, clocking in at around seven minutes, puts it all together seamlessly.
Spin (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "CHEMISTRY thrives on a thrilling alchemy of trad hardcore thunder and proggy flourishes."
Spin (p.52) - Ranked #04 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "[T]his Toronto crew defibrillate hardcore's heart by going epic -- tidal guitar overdubs, stampeding drums, flute and keyboard ambience."
Alternative Press (p.156) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Opening number 'Son The Father' sets the pace with a blistering chorus....[They] are still an unmistakably hardcore band at heart..."
Magnet (p.101) - "With some songs boasting dozens of guitar tracks....THE CHEMISTRY OF COMMON LIFE is decidedly more adventurous than 2006's HIDDEN WORLD..."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.50) - "[They] not only venture into new and occasionally difficult territory, they actively seek it out, exploring the very limits of their genre..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he music is sneakily sophisticated, buoyed on a mesh of relentless guitar tracks and driven by motorik drums toward a golden psychopunk horizon."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.69) - Ranked #24 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "The most purely driven rock album of the year."
Blender (Magazine) (p.76) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Here, they combine hardcore punk's combat-boot side with its tortured-noise side, layering what sounds like scores of tsunami-distortion guitars over an atomic-speed drum blitz to attain rarely witnessed levels of obliteration."