Jul 14, 2011

The release of this record is as monumental to me as the first time I (or anyone) saw Despise You perform live at Murderfest ‘07. That might not sound like a big deal but in case you didn’t know, prior to that show, DY existed only on recordings between the years of ‘94 and ‘97. Fake band member names, interviews, and show fliers added to the confusion amongst many of their fans (myself included) and peers in the scene. Their records eventually became obscure collectors items and a partial discography, Westside Horizons, became a cult classic as the band’s fate appeared to have been sealed when a split with Man Is The Bastard never materialized. Sure, it’s a bummer to think of what might have been, but you’ll be glad to know that they picked up right where they left off—and with a suitable partner in Agoraphobic Nosebleed. If you loved DY’s classics, then you should have no problem enjoying these eighteen brand new tracks of the same brand of thrashy hardcore that they built a reputation on. Still fucking bleak, brutal, and fast. There’s also a cover of Fear’s “I Don’t Care About You” just to show you where they’re coming from. Agoraphobic Nosebleed have also created quite a name for themselves in the extreme music world, though it’s debatable whether it’s a name to be praised or shunned. Still no drummer in place of the drum machine, but the songwriting is still excellent as Scott Hull doesn’t seem to run of out of riffs to manipulate. ANB doesn’t seem to rely on speed (the musical kind, that is) as much as they did in their earlier days, but don’t kid yourself, shit’s still fierce. It’s fairly typical of Jay Randall to conjure up lyrical diarrhea, but this time around the lyrics are not as offensive. Still, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t or won’t be again. But, hey, Randall couldn’t have been more right on with these lines: “Get pissed—throw the disc in the trash? But the Despise You side is where it’s at.” Amen to that.

 –Juan Espinosa (Relapse,