Sunday, January 29, 2017

Gorod - A Maze of Recycled Creeds

A rare example of a new logo making older music

When I was first really getting into death metal and all of its subgenres (so like 2007-08), Gorod was one of the bands that really latched on for me.  Leading Vision (and to a slightly lesser extent, Process of a New Decline) were a rare kind of tech death that didn't focus on unending sweeps and blast beats, nor did it slather itself in so much progressive noodling that it descened into jazzy nonsense and forget to throw hooks at you like a pissed off Mike Tyson.  There was a bouncy jubilance that many of their contemporaries lacked, keeping the jazzy moments appropriately sparse to make them a fun and unexpected twist instead of an incessant feature, and it made them rise above with aplomb.  Unfortunately, around the time of Transcendence and A Perfect Absolution (and the subsequent change of vocalists), they became exactly the type of band they deftly avoided being, focusing way too much on jazzy Cynic worship and totally losing that pulverizing blend of sinister brutality and flittery eccentricity, dialing in on the latter and losing what made them so uniquely wonderful.

That preamble was merely to explain why I ditched the band and didn't bother listening to their most recent album, 2015's A Maze of Recycled Creeds, until now.  For all the fans like me who dug them from the Gorgasm days up until 2009, this is the comeback we've been waiting for, because this is easily the followup to Process of a New Decline, time displaced five years later.

This is just as jazzy and progressive as before, but the hammering death metal has been amped up again.  It's weird, because the driving force of the music are still the jumpy harmonized leads that are pretty much always drilling away in the foreground, but it's all rooted in a more menacing, metallic growl again.  This album is as vicious as it is impressive, coming off as some bizarro universe where the instrumentalists of Dream Theater were huge fans of Symbolic-era Death.

The hooks and catchiness are the things I missed most in their down era, and that's what's back here to make me a fan again.  One thing they were always great at was toeing the line between straightfoward, driving metal and catawampus melody with disjointed rhythms.  Head back to that marvelous 2006 album and check out "Thirst for Power" for a great example.  Here you can check out tracks like "Temple to the Art-God" or "Syncretic Delirium" and draw immediate parallels.  Even tracks that take on their newer approach like "Rejoice Your Soul", with straight flukey jazz sections and spoken word moments cutting up the frantic metal just end up working more effectively this time, even though it is still one of the weaker tracks.  Lighter tracks like "Inner Alchemy" chuck ohrwrums at you like no tomorrow, and that's what makes the band so special to me.  Nobody else so deftly manages to intertwine mind-melting creativity in their riffs and leads (like on "From Passion to Holiness", owner of the best riff on the album), it really is a breath of fresh air to hear the band take on the style that made them so unique in the first place without trying so hard to outdo themselves and ultimately overdosing on Cynic.

What they lack in morbid brutality, Gorod makes up for in sheer forward motion.  They're an energetic band with tons of conviction and songwriting chops, drawing comparisons yet again to Anata, as opposed to something like Necrophagist, despite the focus on melody and hookiness.  A Maze of Recycled Creeds isn't a particularly ferocious album, nor was it necessarily meant to be.  Gorod is a band more tailor made for guitar nerds than greasy headbangers, but as a member of the latter group, I adore this anyway.  There are things I'd still change, like the new vocalist isn't nearly as powerful as the old one, instead devolving into ineffective shouting at times instead of that thunderous roar, and some of the more weird moments hearken back a little to closely to the previous album to my liking, but in all honesty it's mostly just a product of trying to blend A Perfect Absolution with two parts Process of a New Decline, and it works for what it is.  They're not going to be the same band they were in 2006 nearly a decade later, but they tried to bring back those songwriting skills, and for the most part they succeeded.


RATING - 85%

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tengger Cavalry - kAAn

The Army of God experiences a crisis of faith

I've been hyping the shit out of Tengger Cavalry since 2013.  It seemed like everything Nature Zhang (as he was known at the time) touched turned to gold, and things only improved after Cavalry Folk when he expanded the band into a full lineup instead of a one-man band.  Up through Ancient Call, I was hooked.  Whether he be focusing on soothing, ritualistic tracks, rife with traditional Mongolian instrumentation and throat singing, or riffing your face off with simple yet effective melodeath/folk metal corkers, he was on fire, I wanted more and he/they consistently delivered.

Then Nature moved to New York and restocked the band with all new members, and suddenly things changed.

Their output after solidifying the new lineup exploded.  Since the move, they've released a mindboggling twenty five releases in barely three years, mostly consisting of singles, live albums, and rerecordings of previous full lengths.  We haven't had a "true" new Tengger album since Ancient Call, and if I'm being totally honest, I haven't bothered listening to most of these new releases.  I mean, I've already heard Blood Sacrifice Shaman, why do I want to hear it again five years later?  I can just listen to the original.  Sure I'll check out Mountain Side, but only for the title track, since the release is otherwise full of remixes and rerecordings.  So with that in mind, I ignored everything until this new EP, kAAn, since it's the first thing in a long time to consist album entirely of new material.  And upon first listen, something seemed... different.  Something about the Tengger I love was missing, and I couldn't initially place my finger on it, so I finally went back and listened to all those rerecordings I've been ignoring for years.  Then it hit me.

They're whitewashing everything to all but eliminate the harsh vocals.

I don't know if Nature blew his voice out and needs to exclusively utilize the throat singing that lent so much character to the band early on, or if it's a conscious choice to focus more intently on the cultural heritage of the band and eschew the more "normal" metal elements, but either way a lot of power is missing from the band now.  This worked on some things, the reworked version of Blood Sacrifice Shaman is excellent, if wholly different from its original incarnation, and Hymn of the Earth (the new Ancient Call) sounds pretty good if a little disappointing on some of the heavier and more aggressive tracks now missing that vicious snarl.  But around the time of Cavalry in Thousands (a rerecorded version of The Expedition, which was already a rerelease with a few changes of Black Steed from a few months prior), even the production seemed to fall off and just sound less massive and powerful.  This all ties in because it telegraphs kAAn very well, as it's a decent enough EP that retains the band's spirit quite well, but a lot of the tertiary elements that helped make the good band a great one are missing.  The production feels kinda flat, it's missing that propulsive oomph that helped kick the previous albums into overdrive when the songs called for it.  That's a shame because there are some awesomely aggressive numbers on here, like "Accused" and "Struggle" that feel like they're missing that extra gear they're trying to reach.

Musically there isn't exactly a whole lot to complain about, it's the same style of pummeling fury entwined with the cultural quirks and twangs of that god damned beautiful horsey fiddle I'll never fall out of love with, but the fact that each song falls short of three minutes and end on fadeouts, it just sounds underdeveloped.  Like they have great ideas and wicked riffs to present, as kAAn is chock full of them, but the songs were never exactly finished and just kinda fizzle out in the middle of a cool section.  This is, ultimately, what the band's main achilles heel at this point in their career, as they're fully embracing the digital age and pumping out singles and EPs at an almost alarming rate.  The catch is that very few things sound finished.  They've recently been releasing covers of classic songs that all run for about half of their original runtimes (the Metallica one (Master of Puppets) has a cool reworking of the chorus but otherwise sounds pretty ehhh, though the Motorhead and Megadeth ones are great), and that's true on kAAn as well.  It sounds like everything should be doubled in length, like there's a lot more song to get to before it just fades out and starts the next one.  They're recording and releasing every idea that falls out of Nature's head, regardless of whether or not it's fully fleshed out, and that's disappointing coming from a band that released like five classics in a row in the first half of the decade. 

The good parts are still here, the riffs are mostly a satisfying gallop and the folk instruments and throat singing add a ton of flavor to the otherwise simplistic riffs to great effect, but with the production polished so tightly and the explosive growls completely excised, it sounds like half a band releasing half an EP full of songs only halfway finished.  What I want most out of the Tengger camp is for them to simply slow down.  They're delivering an astounding quantity of music but the quality has dipped sharply.  As inherently simple as the backbone of the music has always been, it's just not working the same way it used to, and I feel like it's mostly because they're just doing too much too quickly, releasing first drafts of every new song and reworking old ones with new ideas and just nothing sounds finished.  kAAn has a lot of potential, with some songs being ridiculously cool (most specifically "Accused", "Mind Raid", and "Struggle") but just failing to follow through with their ideas.  I hate to be so harsh on Tengger because I was such a huge fan previously, but that's exactly why I'm so disappointed.  I know they can do better, and really all I want is for them to chill out and release some fully fleshed out songs for a change.


RATING: 55%

QUICK HITS: Hammerfall - Built to Last

I was really hoping for a Sick of It All cover

We all know my opinion on Hammerfall, mostly because it's the same opinion 95% of metalheads share.  They're the safest band in the universe, nearly every album sounds the same, loaded to the gills with effortless "Hail Metal!" filler that feels like it took as much time to write as it does to listen to.  They've always had a good song or two per album but that's it.  Nearly twenty years and ten albums since their debut, and they've finally scraped together enough material to make one truly great album, and that should be unforgivable for a band with such status and longevity.  Their career seemed to be taking an interesting turn, with Infected trying a whole bunch of new things, so of course fans revolted since their favorite comfort food decided to change the recipe.  The deceptively titled Revolution was the sound of the band conceding and returning to their old formula, and yet somehow they sounded rejuvenated and put out their best album since Crimson Thunder (shut up, I like that one).  And now two years later here we are with Built to Last, and it's... well, the same bland, formulaic filler crap they've loaded nearly every album with since their inception.  The only reason it's "Built to Last" is because they've spent the last two decades proving without a shadow of a doubt that you can do nothing different and not lose any fans, so this is just another album pumped out of a production line with the sole purpose of touring again.  They're sort of like Overkill in that sense, only lacking a legendary early era that makes it at least fun to catch them whenever they come through your town.  Like usual, there are a few good tracks here, particularly the more speedy and energetic ones like "Dethrone and Defy" and "Stormbreaker" (the latter of which is genuinely great and especially frustrating because it shows that the band damn well knows how to rock), but when stacked up against eight more rehashes of "Renegade" and "Hearts on Fire", it just doesn't do enough to overcome the safe and unchallenging formula they've made their bread and butter over the years.   I just feel like the band has no charisma, which is baffling considering their reputation, but it's true.  Built to Last is merely "Another Hammerfall Album", and it's sure to be nobody's favorite.


RATING - 41%

Saturday, January 21, 2017

QUICK HITS: Parius - Let There Be Light

No witty title for this one, get over it

Fresh out of kindergarten, the kids in Philadelphia's Parius have bestowed upon us a new EP, Let There Be Light.  The very first things I noticed were that the release featured two guest solos by Ryan Knight (formerly of The Black Dahlia Murder) and Michael Keene (of The Faceless).  Naturally, this told me I'd be in for a blast of high tempo and progressive, yet very modern technical/melodic death metal.  For the most part that's true (though it's not exactly progressive), and both of those bands are very obviously a huge influence on the band.  It should be a mixed bag in that regard, since TBDM is fucking awesome and The Faceless bores me to tears, but the more noodly and melodic elements borrowed from that band just work better here than on something like Autotheism.  The final track, "Another Kind of Reckoning" showcases this with aplomb, being loaded to the gills with flashy bass solos, and the title track incorporates some epic, spacey clean vocals that work well enough but feel a bit less natural than the pummeling melodeath of the rest of the song/record.  Really there's nothing to complain about, this is a very utilitarian melodeath release on par with some of TBDM's lesser albums (though that's not really a knock on Parius, those Michigan slackers just run at such a ridiculously high quality that even their worst album is still pretty good).  The vocals are typical but serviceable, the bass is quite prominent and noodles with the best of them, Angelo Sasso turns in a good performance, and even the occasional strings and such come off as good instead of forced.  They're not exactly blazing any paths but fans of this style shouldn't have anything to complain about.  If there are any problems it's just that this is very short, with only three real "songs" plus one short interlude, so it doesn't really give you a whole lot to chew on but that's a really nitpicky and unfair complaint.  It's a very professional meat-and-potatoes release and I can't realistically ask for much more.


RATING - 79%

Friday, January 20, 2017

QUICK HITS: Enceladus - Journey to Enlightenment

Their full potential is SO FAR AWAAAAYY

It's easy to forget, but pre-Myspace, pre-Guitar Hero, pre-Inhuman Rampage, Dragonforce enjoyed what seemed like universal adoration.  I miss that era because Valley of the Damned and Sonic Firestorm are absolutely fantastic albums, 100% worthy of all the praise heaped upon them up until 2006ish.  They were ludicrously over the top departures from the sometimes subdued melody and relative simplicity that power metal thrived on, and instead of eschewing the singalong choruses and sugary keyboard lines, they simply added forty tons of unapologetic bombast and non stop shredding on top, and it worked.  Upon first listen to Enceladus' debut, Journey to Enlightenment, seemed to be a throwback to exactly that idea.  The opening title track throws caution to the wind and just throws melody after solo after solo after hyperspeed solo at you, slowing down for nothing and making its presence known as a force to be reckoned with in terms of technicality.  I was instantly hooked, and couldn't wait for the rest of the album.  Unfortunately, the biggest flaw is... well, the rest of the album.  See, the title track is instrumental, and is essentially just a stripped down showcase of the individual instrumentalists' immense talent.  The rest of the album however, is more standard in the sense that yes, the do actually have a vocalist.  The problem is that he's, to put it lightly, very not good.  His tenor is just all over the place and it seems like he has no control over what he's trying to sing, and it just sounds off somehow, like he's just a teeny bit out of pitch at all times and I just can't seem to pinpoint it.  He occasionally showcases a stratospheric falsetto, but it's thin and weak and really detracts from the pyrotechnics of the rest of the band.  The fact that he album is 13 tracks and nearly an hour long exacerbate the problem, because as great as it is musically, it's fairly one-note, and the poor vocals only make it harder to listen to.  Overall it's a solid album in a style I really like, but the vocals are a huge elephant in the room that I'd like to see addressed somehow, because they easily knocked a good 20 or so points off the final score.

RATING - 61%

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Theory in Practice - Crescendo Dezign

Three on one?  Those are... acceptable odds...

I feel like I must've been misinformed somewhere along the line, because I grabbed this album on a whim expecting some sort of prog metal based on the band name, but perusing through their entry on MA I can see these guys were extremely early purveyors of tech death in the mid/late 90s, with members past and present having stints in Mekong Delta, Isole, Ereb Altor, and Scar Symmetry.  So these dudes have been around for quite some time now and are clearly no slouches, allegedly being way ahead of their time on their initial trio of albums from 97-02 (I haven't heard these albums personally so I'm just taking hearsay at face value), so how I've never heard of them before is completely beyond me. 

So this EP is their first release in fifteen years, has the band lost a step?  I'm inclined to speak with authority on a subject in which I have none and say no, they haven't.  Crescendo Dezign revels in a sort of creativity that I'm not exactly sure how to describe.  The opener, "Thermodynamic Process" opens with a bouncy modern synth line, with the rest of the band exploding around it, culminating in high speed death metal riffage with a sort of innocent tinge to it.  What I mean by that is that these guys are clearly some form of death metal, but it's not particularly dark or morbid.  The sci-fi themes that drive the lyrics must have seeped into the riffs somehow because everything is fairly upbeat and energetic, with a sense of wonder behind it instead of fathomless brutality.  While this carries throughout the five tracks on display, it's most prevalent on the opening track.  Even the chugging breakdown sounds like it's in some sort of pursuit of knowledge instead of trying to beat you into submission.  This is most evident in the soloing, which eschews atonality and instead presents several huge, soaring leads that are much more epic than they logically should be.

That creativity I was talking about manifests in the several curveballs the EP throws at you in such a short amount of time.  Like, the majority of "Journal of the Modified" is straight ahead, propulsive death metal with excellent mid range screams, while "Abstract Entities" throws in Mirrorthrone-esque clean chants, and "Cryobiological Expansion" immediately sounds like a Black Dahlia Murder song, and hey whaddaya know Trevor Strnad contributes his inimitable snarl to the track.  Even then, he utilizes a style he's pretty much never touched in his main band, striking a sort of middle ground between his hairball wretching highs and beastly lows.  The "bonus" track (I'm not entirely sure how much of a bonus it can truly claim to be since there exists no version of the release without it, to my knowledge) "Synchronized Emptiness" brings back those baritone croons and even a quick keyboard run accompanying a slick guitar part.  There are all kinds of weird touches like that that give Crescendo Dezign heaps of character that immediately make it recognizable inside of what it normally a fairly faceless scene in tech death.

Calling this "tech death", while not incorrect, feels wrong somehow.  This is melodic death metal, almost calling to mind Arsis' better moments in how ear catching they manage to make these seemingly endless complexities that they throw at you.  A more apt comparison, and the one band I can't seem to get out of my head when listening to this, is the perpetually-in-working-on-a-new-album mode Anata.  The joviality they can extract from something as inherently punishing as tech death is just as strong over here, and honestly, as a fan of Anata that has been waiting over a decade for the followup to The Conductor's Departure, I can say with confidence that this should hold you over without much issue.  I'm certainly excited to dive into the band's back catalog based on this, that's for sure.  If there's any issue with the album, it's that it doesn't seem to have much staying power.  For as professional and interesting as this is, it still manages to slip my mind from time to time despite the several spins I've given it.  Overall that's a minor quibble though, because this is some excellent stuff and I'm glad I stumbled into it.


RATING - 83%

Monday, January 16, 2017

QUICK HITS CLASSICS: Descendents - Everything Sucks

I generally stick to new metal albums, but occasionally I'm going to want to return to my roots and gab on about older albums, so please enjoy this slightly rebranded but functionally identical Quick Hit. 

GOT UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF LIFE THIS MORNING

Hey look, I'm not reviewing metal!  My listening has been split nearly 60/40 with punk ever since I realized Bad Religion was the greatest band in rock history (next to Queen of course), I just never talk about it because that's not why anybody reads my shit.  Today I got a bug up my ass and I want to talk about Descendents, in particular their fifth album, Everything Sucks.  I posit to you all that Everything Sucks is actually Descendents' best album, above even the seminal early American classic that is Milo Goes to College.  You see, early Descendents really tapped into teenage fear and angst in a way that hits home with most lonely high schoolers.  Tales of unrequited love and fear of growing up are interspersed between energetic blasts of goofy nonsense, sexual fantasies, and toilet humor.  That was their big appeal for me, they fearlessly explored every facet of adolescence, with all of the incongruity and tonal shifts that that would imply.  The band suffered two hiatuses early on brought on by lead vocalist and frequent cover art model, Milo Auckermann, leaving to pursue his studies and career in biochemistry.  After nine years, he got the itch and helped Descendents get back together (though they never truly left and the band always soldiered on as All without him) for their first album in nine years.  The reason this one is special to me is because the band actually grew in a way without abandoning one iota of what made them so iconic on the early albums.  Milo Goes to College and I Don't Want to Grow Up were based on the balking of adulthood and wanting to remain in the halcyon years of youth forever, and then Everything Sucks shows up and gives it all a new perspective.  They are adults now, and everything is exactly as shitty as they'd always feared.  Songs like "When I Get Old" are presented with a bit of wistful nostalgia, while "Everything Sux" and "This Place" confronts the bullshittery of adulthood with that passionate rebelliousness of adolescence that they never lost in the meantime.  That's what's so great, the music itself didn't "mature".  They didn't start adding new elements to the songs, they didn't mellow out, they didn't slow down and write more accessible radio friendly songs, the songs are almost all entirely the fast paced melodic poppy punk it's always been, with the sub-minute energetic blasts of "Coffee Mug" and "Eunuch Boy" being odes to spazzing out after drinking too much coffee and how much it would suck to not have a dick, respectively.  The goofiness is still there, and now the Nice Guy songs are presented in a slightly more pathetic light, and "Sick-O-Me" details how a long term relationship falls about due to boredom and complacency.  They're basically the weird uncle of punk rock, the guy who drinks a few too many beers and tries out his nephew's new pogo stick at Christmas with predictably disastrous results.  They're still ineffectual dorks, but they're more experienced about it now, but still wholly unwilling to let go of that youth they cherish so much, and it's a very sincere look at the whole situation.  And that's why it's their best album, it's the perfect snapshot in time between the stages of youthful rebellion and desperately trying to recapture it.  Everybody should love this.


RATING - 95%

Sunday, January 15, 2017

QUICK HITS: Beheaded - Beast Incarnate

The Maltese Falchion

Apparently I've got a theme going, because yet again, I sit here with another Unique Leader styled brutal tech death album that found itself on the internet in the opening weeks of 2017.  This time, I find myself getting my eardrums ravaged by the veteran Maltese maniacs, Beheaded.  This is actually sorta different because for once this is actually a Unique Leader veteran, and I've gotta say that Beast Incarnate is one of the more immediately grabbing albums from the roster I've heard in quite a few years.  The only previous Beheaded album I'm familiar with is Ominous Bloodline from the surprisingly distant year of 2005, and all I really recall from that one is that the production was so obnoxiously bass heavy that it severely hindered my enjoyment of what was otherwise a solid BDM album.  Luckily, they take on a more "normal" sound for this one, similar to that impossibly beefy and steely tinge of later Nile and Krisiun, and it's a major boon to the album's potential longevity.  The subtle melodies that make themselves known through the solos and just generally badass riffage (check out a track like "Punishment of the Grave") are a great touch, since this style tends to focus on blistering technicality more than the more inherent simplicity of strong songwriting.  Beast Incarnate instead strikes that venerable nexus of muscle bound strength and quick fingered shredding that bands like Hour of Penance and Neuraxis have made their bread and butter over the years.  There are a surprising amount of catchy moments as well, like the title track and the more midpaced epic of "The Black Death", which call to mind some of the better moments of Abnormality's debut.  Special shoutout goes to the vocals as well, since Frank Calleja's roar is one of the rare in the style that has some strong charisma instead of merely being a secondary percussive force.  This isn't the same vocalist as Ominous Bloodline and I think that may be another one of the reasons this stands so much taller over that one.  In short, Beheaded got their shit together when I wasn't looking and delivered and early surprise for 2017, and I'm stoked to keep track of the band from here on out.


RATING - 84%

Thursday, January 12, 2017

QUICK HITS: Maze of Sothoth - Soul Demise

IA! IA!

So it looks like 2017 is going to start off with a slew of brutality, as here I sit with another early release that revels in bone crunching devastation; Soul Demise by Maze of Sothoth.  I feel like tech death has really fallen out of favor with most metalheads, with special exceptions reserved for the old guard like Origin and Wormed, so hearing a new(ish) band unapologetically shred and riff my ears off like this is a nice surprise.  Maybe it's the Italian connection, but I'm hearing a lot of Hour of Penance and early Fleshgod Apocalypse (before they decided to be Death Metal Rhapsody of Fire) in this, and if you've been following me for a while it should come as no surprise that I love itSoul Demise is much less about just showing off their instrumental skill and more about cramming as many badass hyperspeed riffs into each second as possible.  Of course, this naturally comes off as something of a riff salad as a result, lacking in overall cohesion across the board.  Honestly, that doesn't bother me when it comes to this type of style, since that's basically the norm, and albums like Hour of Penance's Sedition are glorious exceptions.  Oddly enough, I actually thought this was an instrumental band initially, as I didn't even notice vocals until the third track.  Once I did though, he seemed to take the Origin approach and just never shut the hell up.  So all told, it's pretty standard for the modern tech death game, with sprinklings of Immolation and Morbid Angel in the more spastic and squealy riffs found in songs like "Blind", but it's a really solid offering for fans of the style, and I'd recommend it to anybody who thought death metal was thriving from 08-11, because this is a welcome throwback to an era that only recently left us.  Certainly better than Archspire, if nothing else.


RATING - 78%

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

QUICK HITS: Brain Dead - Disaster Ahead

Thrash is known nowadays as an artistic dead end and I continue to refute that notion.  However, bands like Brain Dead make it really hard for me to make that case.  This is another one of those books you can very accurately judge by its cover, with the cartoon style, plethora of tropes and cliches that add nothing more than a juvenile "wink wink nudge nudge" to the band's image and attitude, and a mascot that is, surprise!, a long haired zombie thrasher with high tops and and upturned flat billed cap.  Oddly enough, that sentence actually describes the band's music pretty well too, if that makes sense.  If there was some semblance of tongue in cheek self awareness, this kind of thing can work.  Smash Potater makes it work, Brain Dead does not.  This is played completely straight and it's the exact kind of brainless idiocy that's neither fun nor satisfying to listen to.  I love Municipal Waste a whole ton, I can get behind this sort of thing, but Disaster Ahead completely lacks the songwriting ability of those Virginian party animals.  The production does nothing to help the stale riffs and cliche yelping vocals, since everything sounds very distant and separate from one another.  It just feels hastily slapped together without a whole lot of real thought put into it.  For every good idea there are five bad ones.  Like some of the riffs are pretty good (like the chugging part in "Last Obsession"), but even the best are creatively bankrupt.  It's pretty neat that they felt inspired enough to write an ode to the fallen Scumdog, Oderus Urungus, with "Flight of Oderus", but every other song is the exact toxic waste and thrashing all night and war is hell crap that has been beaten to death for 30 years now.  The sample of the "I'm mad as hell" speech from Network is pretty overdone at this point but it does set the stage well as an opening sample, but the rest of the song lets it down with the tired yelping and lame riffage, and the samples that carry out the title track of people telling the band members to get jobs and even a god damned terrible Mickey Mouse impression is just the most obnoxious sequence ever.  Listen to those people.  Get jobs.  This is going nowhere for you guys.


RATING - 20%