Saturday, January 28, 2012
Stick Together- No More Games 7” review
I have to bring up a gripe with youth crew- sorry to Stick Together for being the recipients of the message, but they are one of the culprits in this scheme. Has youth crew really done anything different since Youth of Today essentially forged and almost perfected the subgenre? XPlagued With Ragex, Floorpunch, Face Reality, Noose, No Tolerance, Ten Yard Fight (who, to their credit, sung about football), and Stick Together… do these bands really deviate much, if at all, from the simplistic youth crew template? They do not, and that is my gripe.
However, that being said, I love all of the aforementioned bands, especially Face Reality. This lack of deviation is of no effect to the music itself, as the template is a working one. Stick Together is one of the better bands of this youth crew template; the song lyrics are as broad and unspecific as ever, and they still fucking rule (more on why this trait is positive later). They rule in the “living room mosh pit” sort of way; I would absolutely LRMP to these guys, despite my listed gripes. It’s anthemic, energetic, and the broad meaning behind the lyrics has mass appeal, meaning anyone and everyone can relate. If you like anything close to Youth of Today or even Earthmover, Stick Together is your thing.
Lastly, a question to the band I must pose, if nothing else for the sake of curiosity, be it my own of that of someone else: Why is it that the band has a song called “Stick Together”, followed by the song “Don’t Get Stuck”? Is this not paradoxical in some sort of way? Be right back, going to LRMP again.
Post script- I put the introduction of the review in a different font, because it doesn't really have to do with reviewing the music of the band, but it is something I felt needed to be said. However, feel free to ignore it if you just want to read the review.
Devastation- The Pit EP review
What an oddity- an anarcho punk band that learns more towards being fun, funny, and still remains serious about the lifestyle of the skeptic. Yes, a particular Twin Cities band is especially known for this, but this band isn’t on Profane Existence; in fact, it is not on any label, to my knowledge. However after to this EP a few times, Profane better pick these guys up! This record/ cassette/ CD/ digi-release/ whatever-it-is rules, hard. The record is definitely a product of the times, in a humorous way; “Vietnam, Nom, Nom!” is surely a reference to the LOLCats internet meme that many (myself included) find to be most amusing. This song is the first, and the protégé of the whole EP, representative of the tongue-in-cheek self deprecation this generation is becoming known for, for better or worse. This is pretty sweet for an EP; as far as I’m aware, it’s a free download and hasn’t been pressed, so download it and rock this shit.
Trenchfoot- s/t 7” review
Holy shit, powerviolence and fastcore got heavy. Spazz, Infest, D.R.I., Deathrats… they were all fast, but the guitars and bass were a little light, and for million-beats-a-minute music like most powerviolence is, it never affected the quality (because who needs dark and heavy when the speed more than makes up for it?). But THIS… this is a new-ish style of powerviolence. I haven’t heard much as of yet; this is darker, heavier, tuned down, like Amebix or Axegrinder started doing speed (and quit heroin). The speed has always been what does it for hardcore (at least to me), but this heaviness gives an extra emotional edge, making the world seem just a little more hopeless, and holy shit, it rules. Trenchfoot’s self-titled 7” piece of wax is a piece of a new movement in hardcore/ powerviolence where darker and louder is better; this band, Mob Rules, Lack of Interest, and Weekend Nachos are the proliferators of this new movement, and despite the heavy, hopeless, pummeling beats that this awesome record has to offer, it is over before one knows it. Turn it over, and spin it again; it’s worth more than just one trial listen.
Triple Crossed- Trapped Like Rats review
This record cuts right to the chase, so I will do the same- this is that gap between youth crew and 80s hardcore, and it fucking rules, especially here because it has so much that sets it above the rest (note, not apart, above). It has this incredibly punch-y bass that sounds a lot like the bass in Choking Victim songs, twangs and punches alike. It’s odd that such a thing would be the primary distinction in an 80s hardcore record, but such is indeed the case. Back to what makes youth crew and 80s hardcore awesome… it’s high energy, stop-and-go, done-in-a-minute hardcore, i.e. the kind of hardcore that existed prior to windmilling, Henry Rollins-wannabe macho jocks and their subsequent takeover of the pit. This is some real punch-and-crunch hardcore (punch in the bass, crunch in the guitar), and along with In Defence, this is one of the best Twin Cities punk bands active as of late. Fucking stellar.
Solid Snake- Pissed Off review
Somehow, I knew I would like this record at least a bit, if nothing else for the name of the band (I am a long time fan of all things Metal Gear). After taking a look at the band online, I figured there wouldn’t be anything to dislike, as they were straight edge, atheist, and from a town near and dear to me. Following a front-to-back listen, would this be a Codec Moment, or Snake’s Revenge?
There’s something to be said for the record: It’s definitely different than the usual 90s hardcore known and loved by many. However, despite differences, is it actually any good? It’s good, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark of being a groundbreaking, great, captivating release. The vocals are what set it apart, and simultaneously hold it back a bit. It’s raspy and deep, sounding almost like it belongs on a Skitsystem or Gasmask Terror record, but instead, it’s on a Michigan hardcore record. The lyrics… some kind of stuff you might expect on any punk or hardcore record, but much more anthemic. It’s the sort of shit you find twenty or thirty fans blowing out their vocal cords singing at a show. Not new, not bad. The music is pretty much formulaic 90s hardcore; if you’ve heard Earthmover, Blood for Blood, new Agnostic Front, Hatebreed, or Terror, you’ll like this. Definitely worth listening to, but it doesn’t exactly bringing new material to the table. Whether you want that innovation or not (myself, I don’t care) is your call.