Monday, September 5, 2011

heresy on the monkey bars

Out of this current resurgence of older hardcore bands reforming and releasing new music, this new Sheer Terror record, their EP entitled "Spite", would have to be one that has most grabbed my attention. You can't deny the (sheer) quality of alot of their old discography, so with no hesitation I grabbed this. Out of something like four different variations, this is the brown and black splatter edition of 1000 copies. Reaper Records.
I don't know whether I have actually detailed it on this blog before, but I have never been the kind that's heavy into the analysing of lyrics to the nth degree. One hardcore band that has always managed to capture my interest in this department however is Sheer Terror. I doubt I need to really tell you why, everyone know's that I'm talking about "Just Can't Hate Enough". What a song. So with initial inspection of this new EP, the first thing I did was get my hands on the lyrics sheet. More or less convinced that I'd be somewhat disappointed, I'm happy to say that the Rev. is in full effect here with some intelligent, hateful and working class verses. I mean really, of course he won't ever match "JCHE", but he's presented here a lengthy and complex platter of spiteful gripes that puts to shame a lot of today's modern day 'lyricists'.
In terms of actual music, what we get here is what would be perceived as pretty faithful Sheer Terror I suppose. Simple structures and riffs, nothing new. Heavy, crunchy, sharp guitar tone, as always. Bearer's trade mark snarl, thank you. The most immediately noticeable difference to me though is it's heavily modern day recording and mix. Massively appropriate for a label such as Reaper Records, fans of any modern day HARDcore bands (Terror, TUI etc) will lap this new music up whether they're familiar with old Sheer Terror or not. There though lie's this EP's weak point; it's likely that fans of the older material may be put off slightly (or even a lot) by the crispness of these new songs. It's certainly something that I will have to adjust to, maybe I won't at all. It's tricky at the moment.
Two new songs on the A side, and a cover on the B by some old band that I've never heard of that goes by the name of Old 97's. A quick google search uncovers that they're from Texas and that they play a style of music touted as 'alternative country', whatever that is, I don't have the inclination to look further. Two of my most hated terms when used to describe any kind of music. The song itself , "Salome", is a tricky number, introduced by a simple progressed power chord, it's a mid paced number, dominated by a clean singing Bearer. I've never been a fan of his clean vocals, and this song does nothing to alter my opinion in any way.
Thick cardboard, glued sleeve, with no(!) dust sleeve for the actual vinyl. Bit of a no no for a label of such stature I think. Lyrics and liner notes arrive by the way of this large fold out poster thing. Tidy package that you would more or less expect from Reaper.

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