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Rock - Released February 15, 2019 | Epitaph

Hardworking Swedish punk rockers Millencolin slapped a fresh set of wheels to their decks on 2015's sweet and salty True Brew, and they continue to carry the '90s skatepunk torch on the fiery follow-up SOS. Like its predecessor, album number nine was produced with considerable punch by the band's own Nikola Sarcevic and Mathias Färm, and it gets off to a rollicking start with the titular cut, a pick slide-heavy, politically charged melodic rager that's sure to incite a stadium pit frenzy. What follows is about as reliable a set as one could hope for from a group with 27 years in the rearview mirror. Lyrically, the band touches on the usual themes of love, weed, heartache, and political, cultural, and societal ills -- they even pay homage to "Yanny and Laurel," the 2018 viral meme that threatened to split the Internet in two. As genres go, pop-punk and skatepunk tend to avoid pushing the envelope structurally -- that muscle is made for fighting, not flexing -- and as per usual, Millencolin rage against the machine with as much melody as they do might. Whether they're channeling the sugary, controlled chaos of the Ramones ("Do You Want War"), the anarchic power pop of Against Me! ("Sour Days"), or channeling their inner Bad Religion ("Trumpets & Poutine"), the hook is sacrosanct. There's something to be said for consistency, but Millencolin maintain their equilibrium by paying as much attention to the quality of the product as they do its shelf stability. ~ James Christopher Monger

Rock - Released February 12, 2019 | Epitaph