TERROR: CBGB OMFUG Masters : Live 6/10/04: CD

Here is how a typical live Terror track works: the vocalist vents his anger about something, then insists on his audience to “Move that shit around” or “Tear that shit down” before he announces the title of the next song. The name of said song will usually refer to hostility, strength, conflict, or some combination of these traits. Following this, a faceless roar of a New York-style hardcore track will kick in for a few minutes, with a few requisite breakdowns littered in for good measure. Lather, mosh, repeat. Now, what’s really fascinating about this disc is what is on its cover: above the human dogpile that composes a Terror show, a bald, tattooed guy’s body is splayed in a crowd surfing snapshot. In our view, beneath one knee of the guy’s camouflage shorts is his left leg, which is emblazoned with one of those generic tribal tattoos worn most often by men that call each other “bro” with zero irony. Moving down this gent’s limb, his foot is falling out of a laceless Converse All-Star. This image is the singular most apt symbol of what makes Terror and its antagonistic ilk such a polarizing force within the breadth of hardcore: even among the familiar marks of counterculture, that guy will always carry the clearly noticeable imprint of trite and silly-looking macho bravado on him, making his participation in this setting come off as much less independent and individualistic than it ideally should be. Never has a calf been so telling.

 –Reyan (MVD)