|The Assistant/This Ship Will Sink/ Takaru |
OK, Adam may not be the most in-the-know guy about today's hardcore scene. Probably not about any hardcore scene but, I'm not completely ignorant to its existence. I own and enjoy portions of the hardcore music. And even from what little I've heard, this stuff here comes off pretty beat. For loud, fast, screaming motherfuckers this shit is kinda dry. After a certain point the formula is pretty much the same and you hope that someone will take that formula and run with it, give a little something different. These guys left out the different.
It took three listens and finally looking at the CD case to realize where one band ended and another started. Now, I've heard similar arguments put forth about Free Jazz and electronic music, amongst other genres. I could see how someone not familiar with that music may have a hard time differentiating between Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and Anthony Braxton. Well, they couldn't really be any more different as far as approach and style goes. And I'll offer that I may just be missing the bus here, but I don't think it's that cut and dry in this case. Granted, after repeated listening I can now tell the difference between the three bands but there isn't really anything to set one band apart from the other aside from minor changes in guitar lines or vocalists tone. I'm sure that there are some of you out there that would say I'm a fucking idiot for not being able to see how significantly different these three groups are. Well, come show ‘cause I can barely tell.
This Ship Will Sink would win for having coolest band name if it wasn't an empty statement hidden under the guise of a name, something every fucking mediocre hardcore band out there uses for names nowadays. And they might also win if the lyrics for their potentially politically biting song ‘George Bush Could Fuck Up A Peanut Butter and Jelly' were actually biting instead of freshman in college style activism-lite.
The first band The Assistant, there's not much good to say about them. The vocalist isn't very good and the "catchy" guitar line undermines anything hard there might have been about the song.
Takaru, the final band on the split, basically combine the shittiest parts of the first two bands to form a glorious hybrid of un-engaging hardcore. They top off the love fest with their final cut, "Why Don't You Ask Me? Motherfucker?!", about a minute or so of posing that very question over and over.
Don't take this as "older guy doesn't get the young kids" kind of scene. Hardcore at it's best is brutal, honest and unquestionable in its integrity and relevance. As is hip hop, another musical form whose merits (when done well) I will likely spend many more days and nights championing to middle aged white people. So, while we're comparing apples to oranges here, any real MC knows that Nelly ain't shit. I'm no real MC but I bet a bunch of you hardcore kids out there would agree with me on this record: ‘tis whack.
- Adam Richards | 2004-11-23
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