Remember Venice – “Here’s To Us Staying Honest…” is a sensational pop-punk album!

“Here’s To Us Staying Honest…” is a surprise package of nostalgic songs from 2000’s pop-punk and alternative rock stalwarts Remember Venice. The band has embarked on re-releasing songs that are still highly relevant and powerfully evocative, spearheading supersonic rhythms, rip-roaring guitar work, and soaring vocals. The band will startle those who thought this authentic sound had disappeared. Railing against the grain, Remember Venice remind us how to turn up the volume, and ignore the seekers of silence, as they totally blast the cobwebs from the ceiling.

Initially set for release the summer of 2008 “Here’s To Us Staying Honest…” was recorded at Small Room Studio in Yonkers NY, and produced by Anthony Bilancia. The album was written by Ralph Puma and Dan Maher in Ralph’s grandmother’s basement, while they were teens. The album features Ralph on vocals and guitar, Dan on bass, Carl Bauer on lead guitar, as well as Marino Iandolo and Joey Bilancia on additional guitars, and Raff Ferraioli on drums.

The re-release of “Here’s To Us Staying Honest…” isn’t a belated afterthought, or an misguided attempt to recapture past glory. It’s feels fresh and ready to give people the chance to reflect and listen to a band at the height of their powers, who never had the appropriate modern-day tools at their disposal for a certified mass release.

You get well-crafted guitar riffs, and hard-hitting percussion, pulling you through a musical portal into a nostalgic sonic room, where the words spill out life’s experiences. Considering the original release goes back 14 years, the brilliantly weaved lyrics do not fall into backroom of irrelevance, as every strand means something, even today.

Remember Venice are experts at expressing themselves through the written word and driving them musically like a hammer to a nail. The album opens with 23 seconds of bone-crushing guitars on “Intro”, before abruptly switching to the acoustic strum of “The Wedding”, which quickly expands into a fast-paced rhythm and an explosive earworm chorus.

This leads to the adrenaline pumping runaway “There Is No Try”. Musically, it’s exciting and truly resonating. The crunching guitars and dazzling drum work continue to drive the momentum of “Get Up”, before the album switches to the newly remixed and remastered version of the song “Stay” redone by producer Anthony Bilancia.

By this point in the album, another element has already confirmed its status, and that is the lead vocals, which exceeded my expectations. Singer Ralph Puma doesn’t skip a note, and even finds ones that you expect to be out of his reach and range. Ralph, along with his bandmates, seemed well aware of what their talents were when they recorded this album, and they capitalize on nearly all of them.

Chugging muted guitars launch the incendiary groove of “Pills”, as Remember Venice strike all the right nerves with anthemic chants in the choruses. “Heading West” brings another big dose of energy and giant hooks. The pointed guitars are absolutely killer on this track.

The winding intricacy of the guitars, along with the punchy backup provided by the drums, and complemented by the rumbling notes of the basslines, all combine to create one stellar canvas on “Take Me Back”, upon which the vocals work their magic.

The album closes with “The Choice”, which presents yet another spectacular performance by Remember Venice, and especially the guitars. Overall, “Here’s To Us Staying Honest…” is a sensational album, which delivers energetic, passionate and accessible pop-punk and alternative rock. Remember Venice remind us exactly how this music should sound when done right.


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