Well, let me just say a little bit about reviews first. Alright, it has been brought to my attention that I can be really hard with reviews sometimes. I would like to say, that after reading through these reviews I’d have to agree on some cases. But for the most part I think I’m really good to bands. Anyway, for those particular cases, listen, I try and give you an idea of what the disc sounds like, take it or leave it. That is the idea. What I like may not at all be what you like and so forth. I was going to go through and change some of the reviews but changed my mind. What is printed is printed. That is how I felt about the CD. Please, also remember, that a review of a CD is just that, a review of the music, layout, and lyrics, not the band members themselves. I try to convey the feeling I have when listening to the disc. Alright, there is more to be said, but I’m done…Have a nice day.
Broken Free- “Conducting the Sunrise”
“Conducting the Sunrise” is the bands second release, and have they improved ten fold or what. This release scores really high with me, mainly because it has such an original sound. From the start Broken Free has pushed themselves to not just be another “hardcore” band. This CD has lots of sing-a-long parts that are so good. Plus there’s lots of crunch to keep the kids moving. One of my favorite aspects are the vocals. Trey can sing and he’s not afraid to show it. Lyrically they are good as well. Very socially conscious, very positive…Good Stuff!
Now…I do have some criticisms. One being that some of the songs seem to be a little choppy, not because they are sloppy or anything, they just seem a little choppy to me, I don’t know. Another thing…Now…I will say, I love what Bill is doing guitar wise, but man, once they get another guitar player, watch out. These guys are going to rock, and they could have really benefited from some second guitar work on the album. The whole disc is just based off of just beautiful melody and a second guitar would complement that so well.Anyway…I really recommend you picking this disc up, especially if you like your hardcore melodic and you are able to understand the words without reading the lyric sheet. My favorite songs are “Free Your Will” and “Master the Labyrinth.”
Facedown Records Sampler vol.2
Well…this is a compilation, and as with most compilations there are some songs that are really good and others, well, not so good. Although I do say that this is one of the better ones I’ve gotten in a while. There are 11 songs on this disc, all from bands playing some form of hardcore. So if you are into that kind of music I don’t think you can really go wrong with picking this up, plus I think this only cost $2. hmmm…$2 Maybe you should check it out. Bands on here are Figure Four, Anchor, XdiscipleX, Ceasefire, Torn in Two, The Deal, Overcome, Cast in Stone, Born Blind, Point of Recognition, and Dodgin Bullets. My favorites are by Anchor, Torn in Two, and Overcome.
Patriot- “We the People”
Street punk/Oi with vocals that remind me of Ian from the Philadelphia Experiment (I guess that is only going to make sense to the local kids.), and honestly I guess it is alright. I just don’t listen to much of this stuff anymore. Musically this is pretty decent, I just wish they would have done with out Track #2. Lyrically this really doesn’t do much for me either. They talk about hitting the city just to pick up a hooker and other fun such songs, as well as the song about oi being for the working class. Intriguing?? C!
Peacekeeper-“If these scars could speak”
Yes!!! “If these scars could speak” is a kind of breath of fresh air to me. Musically this CD is driving, passionate, melodic, original and most importantly rocking my lame butt all over the place. This CD is sooo good. It is nice to see a good band actually put out something with good quality by themselves (That actually sounds good) before venturing out to go see what they can do with a label. Anyway. Musically I can’t think of who I’d compare these guys to. I’ve heard someone say Strongarm, but I just don’t see that, so let’s say a somewhere between Strongarm and Stretch Arm Strong. Does that give you any kind of idea? Probably not, oh…well…BUY THE DISC…then you tell me, o.k.
Self released CD/demo
Wow…I just wasn’t expecting this. I hadn’t heard much about these guys so I was excited to hear what they were doing, and let me tell you, I don’t listen to much of this kind of stuff, but these guys are really good. Very talented. For those of you looking to classify this, I guess this could be called “indie-rock.” But really don’t let that deter you (Hehe) Tabula Rasa has it going on. The guitar work is awesome. They got so much going on, that at times it is hard to tell what is going on at all, but at the same time rocks. Very driving music. I wasn’t bored at all with this release, instead I was just interested in hearing where they were going to go with the next beat. Can’t wait to see these guys live sometime, and for that matter, to hear their next release. I would have liked to have seen some lyrics though. Oh…well…Check them out… My favorite song is Track #3.
Upperhand-“Back to Zero”
Death for Life Records
Man…This an interesting CD. At times they sound like Strife, at others like Zao, and at others just old school hardcore. It’s really weird. I like a lot of what they are doing. At sometimes it does become kind of monotonous though. The rest of the CD is just moving, passionate Hardcore.
Oct./Nov. 2000 Reviews
Blindside (R.I.P.)- s/t
Hope Against Hope Records
Nope this is not the Blindside off of Tooth and Nail Records. But the Butler, PA band that was around before the Swedish band ever made its way to the states. Anyway...this CD containst 6 songs previously unreleased songs plus a remix of Violate off of their old demo, and a hidden song. If you have their first CD, this probably isn't as good, but then again it is kind of hard to compare the two. This release seems to be in a uch different direction matter of fact, this CD seems to be going in all kinds of different directions. THere is no way I could categorize this under any particular genre, but if I had to, I would say this is Metal-Core. The vocals are very different even though they still carry the same energy the vocals from the first CD had. My favorite track is probably "In Black."
Brandtson-"Falling Stars Collection"
Deep Elm Records
I really like this CD. Much better than their past release. Every song on this CD kept me swaying. Very passionate, very moody feel to this CD. Driving at times, yet beautiful. IF you are into this kind of stuff, definitely pick this up...
The Deadbeats- "Don't Go Away"
100 Rembrandt Dr.
Butler, PA 16002
Self proclaimed "Pop-Core", this local band plays some rocking Punk Rock that occasionally experiments with Hardcore (sing-alongs and all)and even at some points throws in some ska. Lyrically they are very personal. Favorites are "I'm coming back", "Where are my Friends", and "Don't Go Away". I really like this CD! For the record, 1) I can't stand the lyrics to "Just Plain Dumb" and, 2) Pat is probably one of the best bassists around. C!
Edge of Mortality
Musically I really like this. This is a straight up Christian Metal Core band whose influenced go much further than the band wagon Christian Metal Core bands out there. Vocally though, it seemed ackward. I really don't know what it is, I just don't like the vocals. Check it out...
Fable-7" "Give Us the Night"
Soft Acoustic parts that explode into Metal Furies with Screechy vocals and lyrics that are basically impossible for me to understand. If you are at all into Grind/Metal, then pick this up. Fable will hold their own in this genre.
Steel City Hardcore, and I like it. With a CD titled Forlorn Hope and the medieveal style artwork on the cover you would expect some scary Metal-Core type stuff, but what you get is some straight up Iron City Hardcore. Entertaining the metal and embracing the Hardcore of Old. Gutrench brings you a sound that distinctly reminds me of early 90's hardcore. Another aspect that is giong to set Gutrench apart from the rest of the hardcore bands out today, is the vocalist, who has a very distinct singing style. Not a harsh growl, but more of a yell. Honestly I love it, but it sounds like he's got a throat full of phlegm when he yells. Gutrench seems to stay away from politics and religion and sing more about life and personal stuff. You know, day to day life on the streets of good ole' Picksburgh. (Wow I used a lot of Pittsburgh esque words in that, did I not? )
Lugnut-"Like the Dickens"
Anybody want a Lugnut CD???
"And Forthwith came out Blood and Water"
Vocals rock. Music Rocks. Their message rocks. Yup....this CD is rocking. Anybody who is into Metalcore MUST GET THIS CD. You will not be dissapointed. This is a complete onslaught of metal core mayhem (Yeah...I know that sounds cheezy. I was aiming for it.) that I can just imagine leaves the crowds ears bleeding. I do have one complaint though (OH...you knew that was coming.) Lyrically...they have me so confused. I really do not get into this kind of writting style. Lots of imagery and symbolism. So much that the listener could miss the point. But despite that, you need to get this...
Redeem "A Diadem of Beauty"
Umm…Zao anyone??? Yeah Redeem is extrememly tight, and they are good at the style they are playing, but it just sounds a lot like Zao. For some, this is not a bad thing. Anyway, the lyrics on this release are very bold "Christian" lyrics. Which I think is awesome, more bands need to be straight about what they are all about, and I really applaud these guys for not backing down even though it seems Christians hear it from everyone that we need to just not talk about what we believe, or we are supposed to not be passionate at all about our faith. Anyway, For those of you who've been in a cave for the past few years and my comparisons mean nothing to you, Redeem play Brutal Metal-core, heavy on the Metal with lyrics you could never understand except for the ones that are occasionally spoken. the end…
Thick As Thieves "Words Throwing Emotions"
I really didn't know what to expect with this CD. I had seen them a couple times and just really didn't get into the vocals that much at all. Then I got a hold of their CD. Let me just say, that this release has been in my CD played quite a bit. Get a hold of this, especially if you are looking for something a little different. Yeah the vocals are still different, but anything else wouldn't work. I really like his style. Musically this rocks. Kinda post-Hardcore sounding but still, I'd say it's heavy on the Hardcore and so much more is thrown in to the mix, to make this release appealing to kids into all kinds of stuff.
I think one reason I find this CD so good is because these guys are just playing what they like, doing what they like in a scene full of bands that are so ready to just play imitations of the bands they grew up listening to and are surrounded by. Thick as Thieves you can tell have their influences but have refuse to be defined by those and have taken a step out, to do something on their own merit and not that of the bands that all the kids are into now a days. Seriously, give the CD a chance.
An Awesome follow up to their first Hellcat release "War Birth". THis CD is roots punk rock with a 90's edge. 18 songs that don't hold anything back. Lead vocalist/ex-pro skater, Duane Peters is the epitome of a 1977 punk front man. He sweats attitude and style while delievering the spirit of 77' in songs like "Don't take it Back", "New Approach", and my favorite "Nothin' on Us"
Wow…Finally. A full length CD. Alright, Lyrically these guys don't hide a thing. Very serious about making the listener know that Jesus died and rose to pay the penalty for humankind's sin. Good or bad, you tell me J . Anyway, I guess "Ghetto-Metal" is a fitting term, even though I wouldn't say they are all that metal, and I've never seen where they are from so I don't know if it is much of a Ghetto. Anyway, not much "Rap-Core" left in them (Beside's lyrically, the whole "12 gauge of Holy Spirit" bit seems to be fitting to the whole Rap-core genre). The past couple years seem to have taken that out of them, instead they now remind me of Hardcore from the mid to early 90's mixed with a tid bit of the more metallic side of Hardcore that seems so prevalent anymore. I don't know if that makes any sense to anyone but my self, but anyway. Some of these songs I just didn't get all that into, but there are some that I just was in a sort of awe. You know what I mean. Each song always seemed to have at least one part that was just awesome. I think there is enough going on with this release that just rocks, that I would recommend you definitely picking it up. Check'm out…
Ballydowse-"the land, the bread, and the people"-
920 W.Wilson Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
This Rocks! This is my favorite release that I've gotten on CD in a long time. Some songs remind me of Dropkick Murphy's. Throughout this CD there is a great mix of excellent Punk (More Old School than New.)/Some Oi and Celtic music. They use violins all over the place. To add to this, they use all kinds of other non-standard instruments. Such as the mandolin, didgeridoo, whirligig, bodhran, bullroarer and moohran. Andrew Mandell is in this band, so you know it's going to be very political. He picked up where Crashdog left off and improved by 10 times. Robin Mandell does vocals as well, which adds a great affect. Tons of great sing-a-longs which will keep you chanting the whole album through. Enough punk to tour with the punkest of the punk and enough Celtic and Folk to be a hit at all the Irish Pubs.-NC
c/o Myk Porter
114 middle ave.
Elyria, Oh 44035
Well this is an excellent Cd. It's your classic emo that makes you want to dance and cry. I can't stop listening to it. My favorite song
would have to be track #2, Blindspot. They're on Steadfast records (the guitarist matt traxler is a steadfast executive.) and the
guitarist/lead vocalist is Myk Porter from Six Feet Deep... But Brandtson and Six Feet Deep sound nothing alike...While Six Feet Deep
had that great thrash/hardcore sound I Love, Brandtson is better in my opinion. The sound goes from melodic to Chaotic, (Although the
singer never screams, it's all singing). If you like Emo at all, you have to get this Cd. (Reveiw by Jeff Schrader)
Chalkline- "the Present Tense" $8- Shandle Records
P.O. Box 1032 Mentor, OH 44061-1032
Finally. I've waited for these guys to put out a full length since I first heard them on a compilation. If you liked any of the stuff they released before, you'll love this. Definitely pushing the Emo Edge more than their first stuff. Ten songs of good old Rock n' Roll that I promise won't leave your head quickly. My favorites are "the present tense" and "Modern Day Inequity." If you are sane at all, pick this up
P.O. Box 7042
Erie, Pa 16510
Great Erie Hardcore. If you don't have this, get it. It's great musically, with that great deep chugga-chugga metal influenced guitar parts
and beautiful drum work. (A lot of tom work.) The singer is just great. He has got the greatest voice. The sing alongs on this just make
ya wanna get up and start dancing on your bedroom floor while shouting out the lyrics to the songs like your all tough and such. All the
songs have to deal with real stuff. Not just your God is good type stuff. They go into detail. They don't just scratch the surface. They dig
deep. Pick this up as soon as possible. It's well worth your $4. From "Shoot our wounded"-why do we shoot our wounded/i don't
understand/never turn my back on my brother/i will never stand to watch you suffer/i will reach out to lift you from this pain/
Johnny Respect "Blue Collar Moxy"
Well Bulletproof really impressed me with this one. I don't know, maybe I'm just not old-school enough, but I haven't really gotten into Spudgun. Squad 5-0 has a nice sound and so does Dear Epheus. But Johnny Respect knocked the socks off my feet. First off, they've got a great new school/pop punk vibe, yet they still keep a raw hard edge. Their lyrics are superb. They've got "songs about girls", which is a must for crazy geek punkers. But they also speak boldly about there personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It reminds me of the Supertones, having blatant and bold lyrics with out becoming corny and trite. But the twist that makes Johnny a notch to the left of most Punk acts is there 50's/Rockabilly overtones. With a cover song buy the Stray Cats, and a number of doo wops in a several songs, John Respect takes you back to the 50's. Yet, pure Rockabilly fans beware, many songs are strictly punk, and the ones that do have Rockabilly use overdrive. Still I haven't heard a sound like this in Christian music since Mxpx's cover of Marie Marie. So if you like punk, and stuff that isn't always punk, give your ears a thrashing of Johnny Respect.
The Murphs- (Demo)-$???
1100 Emerald Ct.
Colleyville, TX 76034
For a demo this is pretty good. Punk Rock that reminds me of Choking Victim (Musically that is.) So I thought that was cool. I didn't' really like the vocals, but overall, this is a good effort.
Neverfall- "Symbols of Innerself"- CD $6???
P.O. Box 1032
Mentor, OH 44061-1032
Well…Neverfall does it in typical Erie fashion. Expect lots of Hard Hitting E-Crunch, with Growled Vocals. Deviation from the norm would be that they got some intricate guitar work thrown in here and there. Also, I really like the artwork on this. But, Seriously, If you like some good old E-Crunch this is for you. (By the way, this band rocks live.)
Ninety lb. Wuss- "Where Meager Die of Self Interest"
Tooth and Nail
I couldn't get into this at all. Very unique, but not for me. Some Gutter Punk Type stuff thrown in with, well…artsy stuff and it just bored me
N.I.V.-"T.B.A." (Due out Mar.23- Victory Records
I love this CD. N.I.V. brings it to us with no compromise. Bold lyrics and awesome music. Listening to this does make me think they where on that tour with XdiscipleX a little to long. You can definitely hear the influence. Don't fret though, it is still good ole N.I.V. just this time they throw in a lot of New-School Chugga-Chugga with the Old School sound. Definitely pick this up. You won't be disappointed.-NC
Officer Down: Subversive Paradigm (Goodfellow Records)
This is my kind of hardcore; pure innovation. Officer Down's latest CD. Subversive Paradigm is the epitome of variation and originality. Harsh yet unforced vocals lead an array of beautifully written heavy hardcore. This CD has grinding guitars, occasional double bass, varied tempos, beautifully placed instrumental parts and is in my opinion one of the best hardcore CDs of the year. The lyrics are very socially conscious and totally expose the heart of the band. The cool thing is that not only does Officer Down speak of societal issues, they give the true solution to them-a relationship with God. He is the only Deliverer. I really like this band because it's hard to compare them to anyone else but I definitely recommend you to get this right now. Hopefully this band will stick together and release more great CDs like this one.
visit Goodfellow Records Online @
or e-mail Goodfellow Records: firstname.lastname@example.org
Overcome-"The Life of Death"-CD-$6
Face Down Records
415 East 6th Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025
Good Stuff here! Metal-Core by one of the Genre's best bands. Although they had a complete member change except for their singer, they seem to of picked up right where "When Beauty Dies" left off. Just this time, a little more Metal (If you can imagine that.) and a little noisier. Downside to this CD is there are only 5 songs, but they are 5 songs that leave you begging for more. From "Lifting the Weak." Why seek the truth in a world of lies/ to unmask rights in wrongs disguise/ to be sincere in crowds that fall/ and not to be satisfied in less than your all.
Pensive- "The Subtlety of Silence"
rr5 box 386f,
This is great emo-core. I love sudden changes from melodic singing to powerful screaming. My favorite song on this Cd is track #2,
"Dispose" (An Anti-Abortion song.) Brett Detar plays some tuly beautiful guitar parts. The guitar parts would probably have to be my
favorite aspect of Pensive. This Cd is on 2 Jake records. I also love the statement on the cover, it basically covers all of the bands beliefs.
There is a gidden track that supposedly has a hidden meaning to it (The meaning has not been revealed to me). Fans of Emo and
Hardcore alike should pick this Cd up.
Pop Unknown- Summer Season Kills- $10
Deep Elm Records
Post Box 1965
New York, NY 10156-1965
Members of Mineral and Feed Lucy join ranks to bring us some of that great Emolicious sound. This is truly a great CD. I just get lost in the songs and feel like I'm a part of them. Big dissapointment though is there are only 5 songs (Sniff…). Can't wait to see what they release in the future.
Zip Records Demo House
c/o Steven Cox
Every so aften I come across a tape that just gets me so exceted that I want to call all my friends on the phone and play it for them!
When I got this tape I did just that! Well, I only called one person, and he wasn't home, so I played the first track into his answering
machine! What we have here is a small handful of tunes that have an emoish hardcore/punk feel to them. The first track has winding
guitar work with desperate vocals. The second track has the same emo Fugazi-ish feel and tortured back up vocals that are intended for a
back drop behind. The recording quality isn't the greatest but that factor is easily overlooked because the fractured emotions and even
more fractured guitar work and excellent bass send so much emotion and feeling your way that the production doesn't distract you at all.
I played this over 15 times the day I got it. The lyrics express the bands faith in Jesus Christ. (Reveiw by Chris Francz(Crucial Times))
Set Apart/Chalice Split CD-$8
Blank Records c/o Billy
969 E. Lexington Dr.
Terrytown, LA 70056
This is the best Cd I own. Set Apart is absolutely beutiful with there strongarm style music with great
vocals, and sometimes even better back up vocals. Very powerfull. Chalice is just Excellent. Great
drum work. Heavenly guitar parts and nice bass stuff, all while the vocalist is scaring satan away with
his great Death Core vocals. A very metal influenced Cd. Heck if Chalice Had long hair they’d be
Metal.(HaHa) This Cd is a Must buy. Seek it out. And make sure you own it.
Silver-"Live at Home With Friends" -$4
Zip Records Demo House
C/O Steven Cox
Hamre 4460 Moi
The Beatles brought you Norwegian Wood and Silver brings you Norwegian Punk! Recorded live at someone's house maybe, this neat
little collection of punk rock songs reminds me of the day when punk rock singers didn't sound like they were trying to swoon the chicks
but rather sounded like they needed a major attitude adjustment! While Silver is not trying to break up any fallow ground in the punk
rock genre, they are adding a decent contribution to the ocean of it. This reminds me a little bit of that live Germs album I used to Have.
Lyrics boldly proclaim the band's faith in Jesus Christ.---Chris Francz
Subsist- "Lessons in Brokeness"- CD- $6
P.O. Box 234
Hudsonville, MI 49526
This is definitely worthy of your money and time. I like it. New-School Hardcore with some cool gang vocals. I do have one problem with it though. Sometimes it sounds like the vocalists voice is going to give out. But, overall his voice is very good. Overall this CD rocks. Plus this band has some good things to say. Check it out.
V/A- "Blessed Be This Killing"- CD- $10
P.O. Box 2529
Cedar Hill, TX 75106-2529
Wow…This is awesome. 16 Hard hitting Hardcore/ MetalCore bands to keep you banging for a full 57 minutes. I was very impressed with Eso-Charis, Through and Through, Fed by Ravens, Pensive, and Overcome. The total cast includes Eso-Charis, Shockwave, Within, Phanatik, Seasons in the Field, Callous, Spitfire, Society's Finest, Pensive, Travail, Through and Through, Terra Firma, xDisciplex, Ashfall, Fed by Ravens, and Overcome. If you are a fan of any of these bands then this compilation is definitely worth it. Now…Don't get me wrong there are some songs that are hard to get through, but overall it rocks. Plus you should get this to find out what the Dork who's been doing all the writing in this Zine, band sounds like (Terra Firma).
V/A- "His Right Hand and His Holy Arm"- $???
4643 Kenrick St.
Philadelphia, Pa 19136
Well this is another compilation, and like the majority of compilations there are some songs that are hard to get through. (And I stress Hard.) I do like the DPW, Pensive, BOB and Speedy Delivery songs. One plus to this Compilation is its variety. It has Punk, Ska, Hardcore, Emo-Core and some other stuff. The bands on this are the Evicted, DPW, Aisle Nine, Redy Serve, Headnoise, Pensive, Element, Black Cherry Soda, Los Bagel Monkeys, Looking Johnny, Bob, San Diego, Benevolent, Invaderz, the Hipocritz, Maintenance Man, Persevere, Die Verfolgten, Gransane and Speedy Delivery.
V/A- The Emo Diaries-"The moment of Truth" Deem Elm
P.O. Box 1965
New York, NY 10156
As the name implies, this is a compilation of 14 different bands playing that Emotional sound. If that is what you like then this is for you. If not, stay far away from this. Stand outs are Starmarket, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Ultramagg and Cross My Heart. The Line-up is Starmarket, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Penfold, the Saddest Girl Story, Cross My Heart, Sweep the Leg Johny, Schema, Ultramagg, Speedwell, psara, biblical proof of ufo's, the chase theory, epstein, last days in april
Veranderung-"Hold my Heart"-$3
Boot to Head Records
This is incredible. I love it so much. (To bad they broke up.) Very Crusty, metal punk type stuff. All the 7 songs on this 7" are short, fast, heavy and nothing but a high bark like scream. Everyone from the Crusties to the Hardcore Kids should own this. (I’ve heard them compared to Los Crudos.)
Tooth and Nail
Umm…I really don't like this. I don't understand all the hype about these guys. Boring Metal.. I appreciate the lyrics though. Very on fire. At times they seemed very Sunday schoolish though
Yeti-Pre-Release- CD- $???
67280 68th Ave.
North Pinellas Park, Florida 33718
Well, you know I must feel highly for this CD if I interviewed the band, Right? Well…yes, this CD rocks. This is one of the best Metal albums that my ears have come across this year. That is Metal not Metal-Core. Metal, mixed with some doom, and some Goth here and there. Not real sure who this reminds me of. No one really sticks out. So you know what, buy it yourself and make your own comparison. Definitely worth it. Oh..and just so you know. The only difference between the regular CD and the Pre-Release CD (What I have.) is the cover.