The Richmond, Virginia, punk scene's biggest hope right now is Smoke or Fire a group that has more in common sonically with Florida acts such as Hot Water Music or Against Me! than anyone from its hometown. Aided by the video for "The Patty Hearst Syndrome," the recent This Sinking Ship is a well-deserved breakthrough for the bearded band. And while Ship would stand out in any era, this impressive collective of melodic pop-punk gems is especially refreshing when contrasted with today's squeaky-clean and too-polished acts.
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