Fokkum is a punk-trio from the Netherlands. The band has a history extending from 1996, but this album is their first (DIY-)studio full-length.

The band's music is an intriguing mix of d-beating crust and hardcore punk. The songs are brief and range from mid-tempo ones to way fast ones, but the crunchy yet clean soundscape makes sure that the riffs and song structures don't become messy even in the fastest bits. Despite the heavy criticism of religion, alcohol and meat-eating along with political commentary in the lyrics, the album doesn't have a negative but an interestingly positive feel, which gives it a lot of original character in my eyes.

The vocals are very intriquing clean ones that're rather dominant in the mix, and pretty much beyond my descriptive skills. They're rough but melodic, and the frequent stretching of words might take a while of getting used to - or so it was with me, at least. This stretching in a howl-like manner is a nice way to boost the songs' high points, but when it's used this much it loses a bit of its power. I hope more variation is to follow in the vocal section.

Overall this album is both a traditional and originally characteristic one. It holds a good bundle of catchy and appealing songs, and the album's peculiarly positive feel has kept me listening to "Paradise" more frequently than I would've originally guessed. The musicianship's on a needed level, too. Aside of the dominant vocals bothering me every now and then, the album presents a solid experience of DIY-punk action. Not perfect, but pleasingly rugged.

7 / 10