steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The First Punic War

"Unicorn" 7"

Carthage Vs Rome Records

Genre: experimental punk, lo-fi

J. Warden
PO Box 41162
Des Moines IA

May 2006

Wow. A lot has changed since I reviewed The First Punic War's last seven-inch (the Candle EP), a lo-fi pop treasure from the bowels of DIY obscurity. This time around he's eschewed the accessible pop aesthetic in favour of raw punk energy. Right off the bat, "Unicorn" charges ahead in a flurry of pummelling rhythms, overdriven guitar, mild electronics, and furious yelling. The production values are fittingly low, and the track succeeds because of it. Sure, this sort of thing is rather simplistic, but isn't that where the charm lies? On the flipside we get more; simply-titled "Punk Rock" is a strange, rhythm-only electronic blip while "Simon the Sailor" drives the point home with punk music and bizarre, desperate vocals. This is too experimental to be considered punk, but the aesthetic is definitely there... Unicorn is a neat artifact from the First Punic War camp.

MP3s available at


Fun Fact: The First Punic War's next record, the Canada Day 7", is set to be released on July 1, 2006 (Canada Day for those not in the know)... preorders will be accepted up until that date, when 100 copies will be released. Copies will be mailed out on that day only, after which the remainder will be destroyed. All to ensure a unique musical experience.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 3 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2006]