React: Situated midway between Harum Scarum and Discharge, you get the “we’re all fucked, let’s write songs about it” school, with bass-heavy drumming and tag teaming female-male voices. It gets antsy and crusty, growly, and remains fast, but the drums and guitars could have easily been taken directly from ten other albums I currently own and, frankly, don’t listen to much any more. It made me really want to listen to Motorhead while their music had me thinking of a serious movie, like All’s Quiet on the Western Front, acted out with Muppets. I wasn’t quite feeling it how they intended. Spazm 151: Hardcore’s a tough gig nowadays. It’s a genre that’s treated like it’s over and done with, not only by the media, but 80 % of the bands that play it reflexively. I hear too many bands play straight-up Minor Threat of Youth of Today ripoffs, tooling those songs with as much verve as reciting the Gettysburg Address verbatim for a disinterested class. Spazm 151, although not reinventing the wheel, sound like they mean what they play and don’t come across like a Civil War reenactment battle done for benefit of tourists. Mean, angry, good stuff.
–todd (13th Floor)