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CD REVIEW: 25 Minutes to Go's This Time's For Serious 

THE DEAL: Charlotte-area quartet self-releases its third full-length studio album.

THE GOOD: Sounding a bit like Social Distortion with a bit more punk fuel, 25 Minutes to Go offers lyrically strong, musically-charged up songs that come at the listener quickly. Ten songs in under 30 minutes is the punk way to go, but there's more substance here than a flash in the pan. The band is able to capture the raw qualities of its music without sounding like amateurs on a four-track recorder. The band shows a bit of its acoustic side on "It's Go Time," offering a bit more heart as well as depth in the band's musicianship and songwriting (Wyley Buck Boswell plays banjo on the song). That track is followed by the band's roughest, heaviest song "Legends Never Die."

THE BAD: There's a basement-tapes quality to the production; however, it fits the band's music well. So then you have to wonder if it's good or bad. I wanted more clarity in the music, bigger punch to the volume, but then I kind of liked the sound giving the listener the audio grit of the Milestone or a house-party feel instead of being polished (and if you want rock 'n' roll like this to sound polished, you should probably go listen to the Jonas Brothers).

THE VERDICT: The diversity of Charlotte's music scene is what keeps it breathing, and 25 Minutes to Go continues to breathe fresh punk rock air into its lungs. The album shows the band's diversity in styles without straying too far from the rock style that fuels it the most.

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