Retrospective #1: Deviates

27 12 2008

“Oh, you mean Deviate?” That’s often what I hear when I talk to people about this band. No, they are, or rather were, in fact called Deviates. This South Bay punkrockband is one I haven’t forgotten about in all these years. In the summer of 2001, I stumbled across a song of theirs on Punk-O-Rama volume 6. As soon as the first notes of Come With Me hit me, I was hooked. Who was this band I had never heard about before? A band this good had to be big. I started looking for their album Time Is The Distance in every recordstore in my area, but to no avail.

One day I was going through this catalog, and to my surprise they were selling Time Is The Distance. I ordered the thing immediatly. One day I got home from school and there was a package waiting for me. I immediatly knew what was in it.

Just by looking at the artwork you could tell this wasn’t your typical Epitaph punkrockband. The artwork was dark (literally) with very dark imagery. Check it out. How fucking badass does that thing look. It has skulls in everything, and on the inside there’s these black things with huge fangs. You could almost say it was a heavy metal version of Dali’s melting clocks. I had never seen anything like it before. I popped the disc into my cd-player and was rejoiced to recognize the first notes. The album starts with Come With Me. I started singing along immediatly. But after Come With Me came the real test. Would the rest of the album be as good? What follows are 35 minutes of punkrock passion. Every song on Time Is The Distance is just as energetic as the one before. But what really sets this band apart is the atmosphere.

As a 15-year old kid, I was just discovering punkrock. I was hooked on stuff like NOFX, The Offspring and Strung Out. Then all of a sudden Deviates come along and punch me in the face with the darkest songs I had ever heard a punkrockband play. Time Is The Distance is a very atmospheric record. It can be a depressing album at times, but the energy and catchy vocals refrain the album from becoming a depressing experience. The thing that sets this album aside the most are the lyrics. I was used to lyrics about feeling down or unnaccepted, but Deviates took it to a whole new level.

But all of a sudden I read the band had called it a day. I was dumbfounded. I had never read interviews with them, seen video’s or even showdates. It seemed like they just dropped of the face of the earth after Time Is The Distance was released. To this day I don’t know what happened. If you know, please contact me, because it still bothers me!

All in all, this band and this album in particular were very important to me when I was younger. Right now, as I’m writing this, I have Time Is The Distance playing, and I have to admit, it stood the test of time very well. It’s still catchy and it doesn’t sound outdated in any way. I can recommend Time Is The Distance for every punkrockfan that is looking for something that sounds a bit different than your typical NOFX-clone. I’m pretty sure you can find it on amazon for maybe $5, so it’s totally worth it.

Deviates – Time Is The Distance released in 2001 on Epitaph Records

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