SLICES: Still Cruising: LP

Must confess, I have purposely avoided listening to this band for the past few years due to all the hype. All too often, the hyped bands I’ve heard in recent times have been pretty underwhelming. While I’m definitely not a frothing-at-the-mouth convert, this album is pretty good. Somewhere between hardcore punk and noisy rock (Am Rep and late ‘80s Touch & Go). Instead of allowing themselves to stand in one place as the world keeps moving forward, I hear a band that is decidedly taking some chances and messing with a tried and true formula. The results aren’t always good, but when they hit they hit. When they fall short, they’re still better off than playing it safe. I like the juxtaposition of “Human Resources” and “Why Do You Make Yourself So Sad,” from noisy and disjointed music to something slightly more straightforward (there is that break in the middle that gets slightly abrasive, then comes the tweaked guitar solo). Chaos reigns supreme here and it sounds like every song is on the verge of coming apart in one avalanche of sound. I find myself preferring their more stretched-out songs like “Horserace” over the short and brutal blasts that are placed here and there. “Classtime” is a total rager with near rapid fire delivery. My only real complaint here is the pacing is sometimes off, like with the aforementioned “Classtime” followed by “All My Life.” They’re both good songs, but you go from one rager that is not too short, then into something a bit more down and slower. So the mood is manic. Had “Classtime” followed something like “Hurt on the Job” then was followed by “Mustard,” then closing out with “All My Life,” it might have more flow, and I wouldn’t have written this ridiculous sentence. Other than that, get this.

 –M.Avrg (Iron Lung, lifeironlungdeath.blogspot.com)