Capital Punishment

Straight Jacket

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Capital Punishment - * * * 1/2

Capital Punishment upstate NY state hardcore compilation. Copyright 1997, Distributed by the now defunct Ruffneck Records. Also by New Lab Productions Inc., 222 Guilderland Rd., Suite 104, Clifton Park, NY 12065 and Overit Multimedia (518-465-8829)

Execution Style - Deceived

* * * 1/2

Starts off with a nice creeping bass intro that promises more than the song ultimately delivers. Good use of call and response even though the vocals are sung in the stereotypical low end tough guy metalcore style. The rhythm picks up toward the middle and actually swings pretty hard in old school style with metal undertones. Impressive if relatively unoriginal. I think the song is about O.J., "we know he did it, we all know he did it". Great fucking name for a band though.

Straight Jacket - I Can't Go On

* * *

Stright Jacket are heavyweights on the scene, definitely one of the best. I'm more impressed with their live show than I am with their recordings though. Very emotional hardcore with a lot of metal influence. Tiny bellows his vocals overtop a constantly changing rhthym section. The song is kind of disjointed. It starts off with a mellow acoustic intro and then all of a sudden screaming. That's supposed to be unsettling but it's just fucking annoying. Nice use of power chords in the middle and the rhythms are really moving behind the music. They should stop trying to put 200,000 trasitions into every song they write though, it lessens the effect. "My world is blackened with hate", and my ears are still ringing from the Straight Jacket show last year.

Burning Human - Hazards To Humans

* * 1/2

Burning Human is undoubtedly one of the most talented and original death metal bands I have ever heard. Their stuff is extremely gloomy and sludgy and the vocals are some of the weirdest shit I have ever heard. Jonah Randelli doesn't do the typical death metal growl, his style is all original and hard to describe. I like Burning Human a lot, but the sound here isn't working. One of the best features on their album was the rhythmic understated quality of the vocals. They were used as another instrument in the mix. The vocals are amped up way too high here, over top of everything else. The band is tight and catchy as hell but the vocals seem out of place. Nice use of the samples from Seven to set the mood for the track. They need to go back to their old style though and stop fucking with the mix.

In This Together - Work Force

* * * * *

One minute thirty seconds of pure old school hardcore rage. A diatribe of blue collar frustration and anger, it is definitely pissed off. The vocals courtesy of R.J., formerly of Cutthroat, are violent screaming which take a little time to adjust to. It's true fucking old school though. The mosh section at the end is heavy as fuck even though it only lasts about 20 seconds. Pure anarchy, well played, simple and to the point. There should be more bands like this.

Dying Breed - God's Hate

* * *

These guys are scene veterans now and have gotten progressively better with each passing year. Basically it's paint by numbers metalcore from Troy with heavy guitar and tough guy vocals all over the fucking place. They sound like most every other NY band playing these days. To their credit though they do a lot with the style, however limited that style may be. The diving mosh section at the end is absolute perfection for their genre. The vocals sound angry but a little too emotionless without much variety. They do what they do and they do it well though. I like the song's lyric about hypocricy in organized religion. Dying Breed is good at pointed accusations and this one hits its mark nicely. You still need to pick up the We The Poeple comp from a couple years back to see what these guys are really capable of doing.

Throwback - Confused

* * * *

Throwback joins the growing list of bands (Skinless, Pist-on) who I saw live and thought they sucked, heard them on record later and thought they were great. I've seen Throwback twice, once opening for Life Of Agony, the other time for Stigmata. Neither occasion caused me to give them a second thought. I didn't expect much here but was surprised. Throwback is actually quite fucking good. Their guitar sound especially is impressive. Concrete metal riffs which don't just bludgeon the listener (they do), but also set up some well executed progressions. The singer sounds a lot better here. The lyrics are fucking great too. "Explain yourself to me, tell me who I am or who you think I should be." This band has definitely made some progress in the last couple of years.

War Time Manner - Open Season

* * *

War Time Manner joins the growing list of bands (Burning Human, One King Down) who need to stop fucking with a sound that works. Pound for pound they are probably the greatest hardcore band to ever come out of this region. They have a sound and a concept that is completely unique (Imagine Drill Seargant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket fronting a hardcore band), and collectively they are an amazing group of musicians. Along with Stigmata and Dying Breed, they have defined the sound of Troy hardcore for the last decade, played a ton of shows everywhere, and written some really good shit in the process. This song is surprisingly unlistenable. The band is still tight as hell and the music is actually heavier and more precise than on their previous recordings. However, once again, the vocals are amped beyond the point of rationality. The singer for War Time is a really scary dude with an amazing presence. But the drill seargant call and response screaming gets to be annoying when it's this much above the mix. The sound does give them a wicked heavy industrial type of feel, but it is nowhere near as good as the original tapes of 1 Eyed Jack or Social Politics. Every band should progress but when you have a style that works so well, why fuck with it so hard? Lyrically as usual, they take on controversial political topics with an integrity and uncompromising attitude that is rare in the PC hardcore scene. The song is weak though. Once again, you need to pick up We The Poeple and listen to every fucking song this band plays on that record. Especially Chalked Outlines and Suicide King. That's how hardcore should be fucking done.

Driven By Rage - The Prodigy

* * 1/2

The riff swings and pounds like a sledgehammer. The vocals are alright, but not anything I haven't heard before. They have a fair amount of rhythm, but it's all been done before. I liked the name though, and the line "show me some respect you fuck". The best part of the whole song.

End Of Line - Project Human Being

* *

End Of Line joins the growing list of bands (Uranium 235, A.C.) who I heard on record and thought they sucked, saw them live and they were amazing. The guitar is alright, short bursts of heavy riffing alternated with the vocals. They have good rhythm as well, but the vocals are annoying as hell. They're interesting in the fact that they are layered with a lot of echo, giving the impression of a lot of singers at once. However, they are too high pitched and whiny for hardcore. I heard they have a new singer, the one that I saw live had a totally different style from this and it was impressive. Good band, annoying vocals. They are better now. Skip over this song and pick up their full length.

Cutthroat - Food For The Snake

* * * * 1/2

Do I really need to write anything about Cutthroat. Chances are if you're reading this you already know who they are. I was really impressed with their live show opening for Machine Head. I was less impressed with their recorded stuff but they are still better than most. Crazy metal hardcore with tough guy vocals which actually really sound tough for a change. Intricate rhythmic patterns and use of effects and tone with the guitar. This song shows a progression from their Hate Breeds Rage CD which was pretty damn impressive in its own right. Tight, focused, and brutally heavy like pretty much everything else they've done. No surprises there.

Sad Excuse - First Time Addiction

* * * * 1/2

What the hell is this song about? Following a hyper agressive serious song by Cutthroat, they close the album with some guy talking to his crack dealer. This band is fucked up. The CD lists their names as Sir Reakalot, Will Fare, and Bill Avoider. They talk about smoking crack and buying rock over top of the intro, then pound out one minute of seriously heavy hardcore about something which mentions the word "pussy" a lot. That was about the only word I picked up. I don't know whether this was serious or a joke band, but the song itself is really pretty good. The band is loose and has a fresh sound and some 'interesting' lyrics. Haven't heard shit from them since, but I'll keep looking.

Average :

* * * 1/2

Reviewed: December, 1999

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