J-Church: Keep it fast. After years of sporadic listens to J-Church, I’ve finally come to this conclusion: if they keep it buzzing, Lance Hahn’s voice is just another instrument in the maelstrom. Think Everything Falls Apart, Hüsker Dü: equal parts melody and velocity. Bone snapping, crunchy parts and finger-snapping happy parts. The first two songs on this split, “Terror of Love,” and “Ghost Writer,” I’ll say are two of my favorite all-time J-Church songs. However, the other two songs take heavy ether whippits and where Blake of Jawbreaker had a voice that could break hearts, when Lance’s is up front, it’s more thin and has a tinny tint to it, which I don’t find as satisfying. Plus, 5:43 and 6:38 are too long for songs to clock in at. That’s simple math. Storm the Tower: Not so good. The bar’s been raised so much on hardcore. Not as rip sawing as Crispus Attucks, not as youth-vital as Life’s Halt, not anywhere as inventive as Tragedy, nor as insightful as Strike Anywhere, or hacksaw-through-femur dangerous as DS-13, they get repetitive real fast. Sorry.
–todd (Broken Rekids)