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Late News Breaking
Artist: Squad Five-0
Label: Capitol
Time: 12 Tracks/48:48

Squad Five-0 has gone through a lot of changes over the years.  First was the drastic change in their sound between their second and third albums (Fight the System and Bombs over Broadway).  There have also been two changes of the record label the band operates under.  Late News Breaking is the band’s latest work, and adds still more change into the mix.

For one thing, quite frankly, while Squad has always been a completely solid band, they’ve never been truly great.  Each album has had its noticeable highs and lows.  This is the first thing to go out the window.  This disc is so chock full of solid, catchy, it’s-bound-to-get-stuck-in-your-head-all-day songs that the only thing that really passes for  a weak moment is when you happen across a song that is merely “good” instead of “awesome.”  There are several songs here that will make you wish you had read the lyrics ahead of time so you could sing along right off the bat.  

Speaking of lyrics, this album has a couple of unexpected moments.  Perhaps a result of the change of record label between this album and the last, the band seems significantly more open with their writing (lyric-writing has been divided between several of the guys).  There are the occasional bordering on silly moments such as a line on “Train of Shame”: “[…]Stop the train of shame a-coming with a huggle and a kissle”.  A huggle and a kissle?  Aside from this sort of moment, any long-time fans of Squad or newcomers with strict language policies will want to take note of several tracks, which is where the band’s boldness on this album really starts to show through. Two fine examples are “2 Grand and a lot of Hassle”: “I am yours and you are mine.  Bastards in their eyes[…]” and “Bye American” (which the overly-patriotic may want to avoid anyway): “Words don’t mean sh-t, and souls wear too thin[…]”.  

Regardless of how you want to take that particular development, there is a sense of openness and honesty to this album that is really quite refreshing.  All things considered, it is safe to say that Late News Breaking is undoubtedly Squad Five-0’s best work yet.  With a disc of this caliber, this band could definitely have a very bright future from here on in.  

Joel Roddin 4/4/2005



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