NOVEMBER 18th 2016

Review by Ruben Mosqueda

Punishment are a Canadian four piece that features guitarist Kevin Gale who was in a high profile act at the tail end of the 80s; you might be familiar with them Slik Toxik. That band [Slik Toxic] might bring back great memories or might make you cringe; if it’s the latter don’t hold that prejudice against Punishment.  [Kevin] Gale set out to create new music in 2008 to reflect where he was musically; he wanted to merge classic blues rock with heavy contemporary rock ‘n’ roll. I’ll be damned if he didn’t succeed.

My best attempt to describe the music on ‘Remnants of Things Left Unsaid’ is Coverdale era [Deep] Purple meets Alice In Chains with a touch of [Lynyrd] Skynyrd. Singer Brad Seral has a ‘Coverdale-esque’ quality about him; frankly I would have loved to have heard him cut loose a tad more on this record---he seemed somewhat restrained on some of the songs. I’ll be the first to admit that based on Gale’s previous work; I would have not guessed that Gale had these riffs in him. I was pleasantly surprised. Just listen to opener “A Little Dodgy” and “Mason Jar” as evidence of this; if those two don’t get your blood pumping then you might be as dead as Hilllary Clinton’s political career.

‘Remnants of Things Left Unsaid’ is a standout effort and being independently released might work against them as they don’t have the ‘pull’ or ‘the machine’ working behind it; I feel that makes this record even that much more endearing and powerful.  While Punishment isn’t what I’d call an ‘instant classic;’ I do believe it’s a far better effort than most upcoming acts and better than ‘new music’ from 80% of the established or legacy acts out there at the moment. The clear cut standouts on ‘Remnants of Things Left Unsaid’ are; “Mason Jar,” “A Little Dodgy,” and “Southernbound” when you hear them I’m sure you’ll agree.