Saturday, March 24, 2012
"Dark Future" kicks off the album and does a pretty job at previewing what else awaits. It's caustic and to the point, leading into "Plug-In Generation" which attacks our need of technology and social networking. The lyrics are simple but pack meaning, which really adds to the overall sound. A theme explored heavily in Haymaker is once again revisited: fuck cops. "More Cops - More Crime" is another spastic assault on law enforcement. There is no holding back... just hate.
"Meltdown" is one of the raddest songs on the album. I love the section leading up the to end because it catches me off guard. Really the last twenty seconds perfectly sum up LMSYHDW: "This is the end, no god can save you, nothing to defend." "How To Cope" adds in some melody without losing the breakneck speed. "Looking Back" is a retrospective into straight-edge, one that's full of frustration and melancholy. Without repeating myself too much, the next handful of tracks are more brusque, vicious material. Once again, the slower moments really shine through, this time in "My Troubles."
Side-B opens with "Ham Sandwich." As always, religion is targeted, but this time Team Jesus is cast aside and Islam is the recipient. It's a stark contrast of the previous tracks... but the venom in Beckman's words are certainly felt. Like everything else, there is no fence sitting; it's black and white. It's a bit long, but I like that PYS did something a bit more experimental. "Doomsday Devise" reverts back into the thrash.
The government, BP, and the rich are subjected to vitriol spewed rants in the next handful of tracks but the one that really stands out is the album's closer, "Right Turn." It's about being on the edge, at that familiar breaking point that we all face. Add in some gnarly riffs, and you have a hell of a closer.
A brief aside, but I really like the production on this one much better than the one on Survival Prayer. As much as I love SP, some tracks bled into others and it didn't have that definitive oomph. LMSYHDW has that and so much more. It retains that raw sound with clarity... if that makes any sense.
I was lucky enough to catch Pick Your Side at the latest A389 anniversary bash and have played this record at least once a day for the last two months. It never loses momentum or gets repetitive even after multiple listens. Pick Your Side isn't just Haymaker v2.0, but an awesome punk band that isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers. There are similarities between the two, sure, but don't just right them off. LMSYHDW is a good fucking record, one that makes me want to firebomb the closest cop-car and skateboard.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
|Children Of God - Victimized|
Spawned from the sessions that created COG's side of the Seven Sisters Of Sleep split, "Victimized" is a minute-and-half of in your face aggression that harkens back to the days of their demo and first record Coupe De Grace. There is no easing the listener in... no, you're thrown into the maelstrom immediately and pummeled into a bloody mess. Lyrically this seems to be a companion piece with "Bled Dry" instead this time there are no slower moments or refrains. It's pure hate and loathing. There's something about COG's sound that I cannot put my finger on, but can't get enough of... if that makes any sense. I will say this though: we need a full length record from these guys soon.
|The Love Below - Demo|
The Love Below, who were featured in yesterday's review, have had their demo pressed onto a limited edition flexi. To my ears it sounds more like the earlier songs (Which makes sense) featured on the Reproductive Rights EP than the newer material. No matter, these are some killer songs and this demo has one of my favorite TLB tracks "It's Not A Tumor." My nerd like love for TLB has been documented so let's move onto the final record: Eddie Brock.
Monday, March 19, 2012
The opening track is a familiar one - in a way. "High Friends In Low Places" appeared on The Love Below's split with Homewrecker (Also available in the A389 shop) as does two other tracks "Uncomfortable" and "Rotten Fruit From A Shitty Tree." This sounds much different, stripping away much of the polish which reveals a much harsher, raw track that sets the mood for the remaining twelve songs. After a frantic-paced forty-five seconds, "Family Entertainment" kicks in. It's a touch slower than the opener, but keeps up the intensity. "Nazi Uniform" is interesting for a couple of different reasons.
Quite simply, it could've been just another cliched "ACAB" song, but TLB takes a different route, creating a strong narrative that details an interaction between an individual and a police officer. The tone is caustic and confrontational, so much so that you can literally hear the words barbed with venom and spite. The usual themes are touched (abuse of power, invasion of privacy, and mind games), but I love how they approach it. The only thing I dislike is the track title. Drawing a comparison between the police and Nazis seems a bit lazily, but that's a minor quibble.
"Uncomfortable" continues to be one of my favorite tracks. It's simple yet conveys just the right amount of energy. Along with "Nazi Uniform," "Pedophiles Basement" was another number that caught me off guard. From how filthy the bass sounds to the lyrics, it's the gem on Every Tongue Shall Caress. A snippet of the lyrics will give you a glimpse into the song's tone:
"I'd be lying if I said I could smile
I've been ruining lives for miles and miles"
Bright and cheerful this album is not. "Xanax Pinata" keeps the record going with an energetic minute punk rock jam whilst "Swallow The Leader" closes things out. After a lengthy instrumental build-up, TLB unleashes a final assault.
I've been waiting for this record for a long time, perhaps since I heard their first record, and without a doubt this lives up to all my expectations and in places far surpasses them. With the surprises in tracks like "Nazi Uniform" and "Pedophiles Basement" I think Every Tongue Shall Caress will catch many listeners off guard and possibly confuse them. But it's good - and refreshing - to hear a truly dark and pissed off record that isn't just pseudo-occult nonsense and lazy "666 / Hail Satan" catch-phrases.
The Love Below continue to progress and define their sound with each release and because of that, I highly recommend this.