Redrum: Thrash, side one. Sounds like they totally stripped out the innards of Minor Threat’s songs, built a new machine that grinds louder, is less anthemic, and runs at a higher RPM. Not a new wheel, but not a flat tire neither. Points go to the lyric, “there’s no laws that make me comfortable, no amount of police that make me feel safe.” Negative Step: Thrash, side two. I don’t get the Negative Step graphics. On the inside, the grim reaper’s going after a guy with a mohawk, and on the cover, he’s got the head of a guy with liberty spikes in his hands. The reaper’s wearing a baseball cap with “Dekalb” embroidered on it. (A possible reference to a release of thrashmasters Charles Bronson?) They’ve got the early “in an empty tin can while standing in a metal bath tub” feel of the recording, at least – but not the unhinging power – of Bronson. Yet, they endeared me with the ditty “Skate Free.” Skating’s fun. The songs give me a headache. That is not a complaint.
–Aaron J. Poehler (Satan’s Pimp, PO Box 13141, Reno, NV 89507)