I can see why this band is big in Portland—they make the whole crusty, epic hardcore-apocalypse thing seem pretty effortless. Still, there’s something that just doesn’t quite take me all the way there. Maybe it’s the fact that eight songs on an LP means they’re pretty long ones. Or that the guitar lead often follows along with the lyrics, or that there’s just the one dude belting out the vocals, or that the LP’s momentum gets really thrown off by the way too long instrumental intro in “Of This Earth.” It’s good stuff, but not great. Still, I’d personally be hard pressed to come up with something one tenth as good, and it does contain the only song I have ever heard in my life about being eaten alive by dolphins.
–keith (Minor Bird)