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Reviews



  

Customer Written Item Reviews
 
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Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 4/5 Stars
Striking Distance -March To Your Grave CD
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Striking Distance
March To Your Grave CD

Striking Distance reminded me of From Ashes Rise when I first put this on my stereo. It's great to hear this kind of untrendy, fast, sincere thrashy brand of hardcore, and it's a shame there's not more of it about...

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 4/5 Stars
Das Oath -Uber Alles Collection CD
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Das Oath
Uber Alles Collection CD

All of Euro-American screaming banshees Das Oath's early 7"s on one CD, including the superb Queen cover that was on the "Dynamite with a Laserbeam" compilation and a surprisingly effective Agnostic Front cover....

This isn't as coherent as their debut self-titled album, but as it's a collection of old stuff from different releases, that's hardly surprising. Every song crashes into the next with unstoppable momentum, every riff played at one thousand miles per hour and every lyric ripping apart the singer's vocal cords.

If you haven't heard The Oath before, get their debut, and if you're into that, get this.

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 5/5 Stars
Das Oath -Das Oath CD
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Das Oath
Das Oath CD

Das Oath, a European-American hybrid band based in Holland, play fast. Very fast. Apparently they're 'trendy', so says MRR, but I hadn't heard of them since John Peel played one of their tracks and haven't heard anything about them in the press or even online since. Maybe that just means I'm uncool.

Playing abrasive, fast, screaming rock-and-roll inspired noise-craziness in the same vein as J R Ewing, it's not really possible to even take a breath at any point on this record. It's breakneck craziness that brings to mind even dirty bands like Zeke, but with more screaming, and it's impossible not to fall in love with this album. Astonishing.

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 4/5 Stars
Ensign -Cast The First Stone CD
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Ensign
Cast The First Stone CD

It's a shame Ensign don't get more respect than they do. Even though they're on a "big" label like Nitro, they're still booking their own shows, playing DIY venues and living punk.

This record is fantastic, anthemic and positive, and all the songs get the blood pumping faster. It's the kind of record that prompts finger-pointing and running round in circles, and gets The Kids singing along. 'Pale Horse' is easily the best song, but the whole album rocks.

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 4/5 Stars
Chokehold -Content With Dying CD
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Chokehold
Content With Dying CD

Chokehold are scene luminaries but have really been overlooked in favour of more high-profile bands. "Content with Dying", released a full decade ago in 1995, really reminds me of Unbroken - it's slow and abrasive, with some incredible breakdowns and crushing riffs that even bring to mind bands like Helmet and Prong that were around at the same time.

You can hear that they've taken the sounds of early-90s metal (before "nu-metal" took an ugly hold) and distilled it through hardcore influences like Judge and Bold, and results are impressive. On top of their sound, they're lyrically astute, and really, really political without resorting to cliche. This comes from a time when straight-edge bands sung about why they were edge and punk as opposed to what they did or didn't drink or ingest, and when I heard Our War, one of the bands Chokehold spawned, it surprised me how much the politicality had disappeared.

The only thing that lets this release down is the awful colour-photocopied packaging and lack of any proper case. That said, it's DIY as fuck, so I can't really complain!

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 5/5 Stars
V/A -In Flight Program CD
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V/A
In Flight Program CD

This is probably the best compilation Rev have ever released, and showcases most of their early 90s backcatalogue spanning every flavour of punk. From emo godfathers Texas is the Reason, to straight-edge pioneers Chain of Strength and Judge via the more angular left-field postrock of bands like Sparkmarker, there's something on In Flight Program to appeal to anyone who likes hardcore.

It's cheap, and it has "Embrace" by Ignite on it. What are you waiting for?

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 4/5 Stars
Our War -If You're Not Now... CD
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Our War
If You're Not Now... CD

As you'd probably expect from a band comprising ex-Chokehold and ex-Swarm, "If you're not now" is angry, blunt straight-edge hardcore, but it doesn't sound much like either of the bands that gave rise to Our War.

Not as slow and chugging as Chokehold and not as frenzied and insane as Swarm, Our War deal in simple, ugly, polemic straight-edge anthems which are much more forthright and militant in tone than anything these guys produced before. Lyrically single-minded, songs such as "Twelve Steps" and "No Drunk" are clear in their hatred for alcholo and drung abuse, and while it's not posi in anyway, they may be applauded for their conviction, if not their approach. If you like bands like Earth Crisis or Terror, Our War should push your buttons.



Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 24 2005 Rating: 4/5 Stars
First Blood -First Blood CD
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First Blood
First Blood CD

It's really hard to work out exactly why a couple of members of Terror need to be in this band, because it seems they're hardly able to express themselves differently or expand their repetoire in First Blood.

That's no real slur on the record itself though, it just sounds a lot like Terror, except maybe slightly less polished - it's raw, chugging, fist-swinging hardcore that doesn't break any new ground but does what it sets out to do pretty damn effectively.

If you like Terror, you'll like this. Simple.

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 16 2005 Rating: 5/5 Stars
Promise -Believer CD
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Promise
Believer CD

This CD isn't as immediate as some other modern straight-up hardcore records, but that certainly isn't too much of a bad thing. The Promise are definitely trying to do their own thing while keeping things within the hardcore blueprint, and they do pretty well at carving out their own abrasive, hard-edged sound that's rooted in late 80's youthcrew stuff like Judge but which has taken enough steps forward to ensure it sounds fresh, modern and exciting.

It's good to see bands taking hardcore forwards without resoting to diluting the message with metal or emo sections, and it's great to see that it's possible to make a fresh-sounding hardcore record. This band are fantastic live and nearly as good on record. Go buy!

Matt from Bishops Stortford, United King 
Feb 16 2005 Rating: 4/5 Stars
H2O -H2O CD
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H2O
H2O CD

This is a pop record, of course, but that doesn't take away from it's pure class! Hardly cerebral, H2O are a fun time, honest, positive, passionate group of hardcore kids straight out of 1988 and that's shown in the music - upbeat youthcrew streetpunk.

Of all their records, this is certainly the best, and if you're into Sick of It All, these guys, who are SOIA's ex-roadies, should be right up your alley. It's very saccharine, but not as sappy and lightweight as their later albums, and you can hear that they had fun making this album, and that all the songs and sing-alongs on it come from the heart.

 
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