Useless ID: Guy Carmel, Ishay Berger (vocals, guitar); Yotam Ben Horin (vocals, bass instrument); Harpak (drums).
Despite being one of the few Israeli punk outfits to break into markets like the U.S. and Japan, Haifa's Useless ID are no mere anomaly. With a heavy influx of pop -- not dissimilar to blink-182, the Ataris, and No Use for a Name -- the band aligns with Descendents founder Bill Stevenson at his Fort Collins mecca, The Blasting Room, for Redemption, one of 2005's most palatable examples of the subgenre. Considering the Descendents connection (they have a percolating number called "Drinkage" for crying out loud), it's rather fitting that hooks, chicks, and beer play so heavily. The melancholy tease of "It's Alright" soon gives way to more powerful, inventive numbers like "Suffer for the Fame" -- which smacks of All's more progressive punk approach -- and the Millencolin-like "State of Fear." Still, it's the contagious, albeit somewhat innocuous, "Turn Up the Stereo" and "Dying Love" that advocate Useless ID's hit potential. ~ John D. Luerssen