09 September, 2012

30 Reviews In 30 Days: Review #9

Veins, Veins (Cassette) (Youth Attack, 2010)

Veins is an entirely too occasional side project that consists of Mark McCoy (playing crazed hardcore guitar instead of screeching like an extremely angry 12-year-old, and doing a heck of a job with it), a few former Das Oath members and Michael Berdan (from the late and lamented Drunkdriver) on foam-at-the-mouth howling. So far, they have only released one cassette that consists of six songs and six minutes of crazed, demented, extremely bitter and negative hardcore. This is irritating because those six minutes are an incredible expression of practically stroke-inducing rage, and these fuckers need to release at least another EP, or an album, even. (For my money, this cassette destroys Failures and York Factory Complaint - which might not be saying much since the Failures album has dreadful guitar tone and the hum of your refrigerator destroys York Factory Complaint, but that's not really here nor there.) The recording sounds like it was done live in the studio - it's very raw, there's no separation between anything in the mix, and it's obviously one six-minute performance of the six songs the band had. Two guitars thrash out viciously unhappy riffs at extremely fast speeds, the bass is buried underneath the really great drumming and one guitar is slightly lower in the mix than the other. Since I think 4/5 of the band was in Das Oath, you can generally understand how quickly and powerfully they play if you've ever heard that fantastic band at full blast. Veins isn't as blindingly fast as Das Oath was, but they compensate for not playing quite as fast with about three times more pessimism and gloom, which is always a tradeoff I'll take. Berdan is a vocalist who sounds nowhere more at ease than fronting a violently unhinged hardcore band (one reason why Drunkdriver worked musically was because it was essentially a hardcore band at heart), and he sounds like he was pretty much born to scream horrific life-denying shit like "Hospice" and "The Thrill of Utter Defeat," which are the two best songs here. The former features an awfully convincing nihilistic chorus of "Who fucking cares?," screamed as if Berdan had just seen his chances of all future happiness in his life get pancaked by an 18-wheeler, and the latter features a really, really memorable and really, really angry hardcore riff, played at a speed that isn't breakneck, but still fast enough to completely kick your ass. If you manage to find a stray copy, which you won't since every Youth Attack release goes out of print in 5 minutes but let's say you do to further the sentence rhetorically, go buy it and pay McCoy's light bills. It beats sticking a Smith & Wesson in your mouth, after all.

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