Screw singing “in key.” Isn’t that punk lesson number one? There’s certainly more to good music as far as The Measure is concerned.
What they lack in tonal perfection, the band makes up for in power, drive and simple three-chord progression. They’ve graduated from a crude New Jersey basement sound without losing the best lessons of the past. To get a sense of The Measure’s growth, you should listen to One Chapter in the Book: A Collection of Standard Waits and Measures from last track to first. That catchy pop-punk formula of cymbal, snare and power chord prevails through to the tail-end. Thrown in the mix are a few fast-paced angst rock tunes and atypical 30-something-second punk ditties that’ll get stuck in your head.
The Measure reaches maturity in the album’s first tracks. Handclaps and vocal emphasis in the opening of “Hit the Ground Running” give way to a sudden complexity in composition, at no cost to the punk message. “Old Crow” and “Fourth of July” boast an Irish-folk feel akin to Flogging Molly, a jarring change in influence. One Chapter in the Book makes clear The Measure’s drive to diversify their sound. Never a foolish move. (Alex Sakariassen)
The Measure play the Badlander Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 9:30 PM with Bird Mile Home and the Wartime Blues. $5.