It's tempting when scrolling through your newsfeed or even watching television these days to feel a little cynical and even jaded by the current state of affairs here in the U.S., where racial tension, police violence, class warfare, and political strife are all on the rise and are steadily eroding the foundation of the country. Add to that a presidential election that has resembled a nightmarish reality show (one of the top conservative candidates themselves is ironically a former reality tv star) whose participants have been more interested in degrading one another with borderline childish insults and treating the public in general as being fairly ignorant rather than acting like reasonable politicians whose top priorities are fixing an increasingly broken nation, and you have all the makings of potential political comedy worthy of a Netflix deal.

Social injustices, political corruption, and society in general have been common themes for punk bands right from the beginning and a band like The So So Glos are no exception to that rule. On their 2013 album Blowout for example, they mocked American privilege (among other things) and three years later, they've returned with another set of songs that continues questioning the agendas of an increasingly corrupt establishment as well as examining social and cultural norms. Their concerns haven't really changed, but what has changed is the overall outlook this time around feels a little bleaker in the space of just three years.

They continue to write overwhelmingly catchy and energetic songs full of anthemic shout-along choruses that feel hopped up on one too many energy drinks, and though Kamikaze doesn't differ all that much from Blowout on the surface, the music here comes off a little more raw and crunchy, and also a lot more melodic. Songs like 'Going Out Swinin'', opener 'Dancing Industry' and 'Magazine' offer up plenty of hyperactive tempos, but there are a few wrinkles thrown in: 'Going Out Swinin'' and the acoustic ballad 'Sunny Side' both make use of string sections, swells of organs creep up on 'Dancing Industry', and 'A.D.D. Life' is a sloppy and stomping sing-along. The changes may be subtle, but in the end they wind up being the most effective.

The tone on Kamikaze is a little snarkier and for good reason. On the appropriately titled 'Down the Tubes' Alex Levine warns "And if I'm going down the tubes/I'm taking you down with me too"; on 'A.D.D. Life' "too much is never enough" but at the same time, he can't keep a single train of thought from going off the rails; 'Magazine' derides dishonest media and clickbait in general; on 'Kings County II: Ballad Of A So So Glo', he takes aim at those lost in the void of social media and chained to their devices, only to admit he's a lot more like them than he cares to admit. But their greatest strength is their ability to approach topical subjects with the kind of humor that makes everything easier to relate to and also makes it feel OK to laugh about it all even when it might not otherwise feel appropriate to do so.

So much has been made about how much So So Glos sound like a '90s punk bands it's no wonder that on 'Cadaver (Career Suicide)' he rails against "pseudo-journalists" who pigeonhole his music as "90s nostalgia". You really really can't blame him for being pissed, and for all of the comparisons that have been made, So So Glos aren't really a revivalist act. If anything, they are a band who are channeling their influences into a modern context and are writing songs about the present tense. Rather than pining for the "good ol' days", you get the impression they are simply trying to make sense of a culture that seems to make less and less sense with each day that passes.