GLADIATORS EAT FIRE: Psychedelic Hogwash: CD

When I first received this CD, it was packaged in a 7” sleeve. I thought to myself, “Argh! I can’t play this. I don’t have a record player!” But upon further inspection, the CD was tucked inside the booklet. For some reason, in lieu of releasing this album as a LP, the Seattle-based Gladiators Eat Fire decided to release a CD with a 7”-sized color booklet filled with pictures of random scenery and the band playing live. While I can’t entirely understand the point of doing that, it looks nice. The four songs that are actually on the CD are noisy hardcore reminiscent of another Seattle band, Botch. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as good. The music seems creative and intriguing, but the vocals seem all over the place: sometimes they’re akin to early 2000s hardcore that just come off sounding strained and other times are shouted in a monotone. Botch’s vocals were always intense and pissed off—Gladiators Eat Fire’s vocals sound rehearsed and lack passion. While it’s clear the band isn’t skimping on the amount of music (four songs in twenty-nine minutes), the intriguing sound of the music was overshadowed by inconsistent vocals that I had hoped had gone out of style many years ago.

 –kurt (