It doesn’t seem that long ago since skateboarding was at its peak of popularity. But like all crazes in youth culture, it is only a matter of time before the excitement subsides. If Hungarian four-piece Nikson had emerged during the 1990s, their punk anthems could have set the Europe music scene alight. Unfortunately that is not the case, and the Gyor-based rockers may be forever trying to reignite the flickering flame of the skater punk genre and attempt to bask in the genre’s former glory.
“Preachers Go To Hell” offers thirteen punk rock episodes, each of which seem to be built upon typical four chord foundations that are far too familiar for comfort. ‘Another Day, Another Lie’ kicks off the album in style and arguably adopts the most original style of the entire LP. Following on from this is the title track ‘Preachers Go To Hell,’ which would perhaps fare well if it were chosen to be thrust in the direction of hardcore audiences, the latter half of the song breaking down to explore a heavier persona and momentarily distancing itself from the typical punk sound employed for the vast majority of the album. In a contrasting manner, acoustic track ‘Everydays’ is an effective intermission and prevents monotony from striking prematurely. Allowing punk rockers to arm themselves with acoustic instruments can be catastrophic in some instances, but not for Nikson.
Songs like ‘The Day When I Can’t Get More Creative’ bear a striking resemblance to New Found Glory, acting as little more than a reminder of the unoriginal sound being exercised. The guitars team exactly as you would expect them to and by this point, there really is the sensation that a formula is tirelessly being adhered to. If one song is to be singled out as a worthwhile listen, it would be ‘Never Ended,’ which efficiently summarises Nikson’s sound in less than three minutes. ‘Listen to the Songs’ is tainted by a lifeless acoustic guitar part, which is a shame as the chorus is well written and the song explores a variety of new timbres. Intriguingly, the beginning to finale ‘Life’ sports a slightly more sinister edge to it, but as the song progresses, the vocals get lost too frequently and the song fails to make a lasting impact.
Nikson may well pride themselves on the melodic nature of their music, but the band have yet to discover the secret to writing memorable tunes, leaving their songs sounding like Blink 182 b-sides. There is nothing drastically wrong with “Preachers Go To Hell”; the quartet have equipped themselves with all the necessary tones and characteristics of the modern punk rock genre, but the composition of the music sometimes lacks focus and takes a while to get the point. The hardcore elements featured give the album a satisfyingly contemporary edge, with the charismatic tones of bassist Horvath Gabor particularly impressing. All the correct ingredients have been thrown into the bowl, but the taste isn’t quite right. Either that or it may be that the best before date has passed.