Reviews November 2004


Voice of Reason, c/o Stefan Muench, Dreihalde 15, 73527 Hussenhofen, Germany



7 Seconds -- Take It Back, Take It Out, Take It Over (CD / SideOneDummyRecords)


It´s wasn´t until 1989 that I heard a 7 SECONDS album. The album was called “The Crew” and I wasn´t too impressed at all. All the songs sounded the same to me and the only one that I recorded for a mixtape was “Clenched Fists, Black Eyes”. So when I went to see them on their first European tour in 1991 it was the support band that made me curious: Quicksand. To make it short: I thought Quicksand where quite boring and after that I waited for things to come, my small taperecorder in my hand ready to record the show. Which never happened. After the first song the recorder was somewhere in a corner and I was in the middle of the pit going totally nuts! The place went crazy when Kevin announced that they would be playing only old songs for this being their first European show. And what can I say! One of the best shows I´ve ever been to. “Walk Together, Rock Together”, “99 Red Balloons”, “Young Till I Die”…Holy Shit! The following album “Out The Shizzy” was a total letdown and I sold it after listening to it twice. And then I lost them until in 1998 I picked up “The Music, The Message” somewhere for a really low price (along with “The Crew”, “Walk Together, Rock Together” and “New Wind”). “The Music, The Message” was a small step in the right direction although it didn´t get even close to the first two albums. The band seemed to grow old and I didn´t give too much about them anymore. But then came that compilation on Fat Wreck called “Short Music For Short People” and that 7 SECONDS song on it just blew me away! This was unbelievable! From then on I could hardly wait for the following album, “Good To Go”. And when I finally put it in my CD-player I had tears in my eyes! This was too good to be true! The 7 SECONDS were back on the map! But: No European tour and 5 years of waiting for “Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over”. And it was worth the waiting! 17 songs in just over 28 minutes tell you what to expect. 5 years after “Good To Go” it´s no surprise to have 7 SECONDS kicking ass again, but man, this record is great. It is even more back to the roots than “Good To Go” which should make you leave the house immediately and get that fucking record!!! One word about the lyrics: After all those years Kevin Seconds still has a lot to say and his lyrics are simply among the best: “I won´t pretend to be some hardcore tough guy cuz I´m not, but my strength comes from what´s inside, my heart is all I´ve got”. Or just read the lyrics to “Where´s The Danger”. Posi-Core has two names: Insted and 7 SECONDS! What an amazing record! (Tobi)



ANTHRAX -- The Greater Of Two Evils (CD / Sanctuary Records)

I can clearly remember the first time I encountered a band called Anthrax. That was way back in 1987 when their album "Among the living" came out. It wasn't because of the music actually, but because of the front cover art that depicted a guy who pretty much resembled that old preacher dude from the movie "Poltergeist 2" which I had seen shortly before and found scary as hell (yeah, I'm emo). I wasn't too much into the music I heard on that record (yet), because back in 1987 I was mainly listening to bands like Helloween and thought that Thrash bands like Slayer or even Metallica were some kind of noise too brutal for me. One year later or so I was a full-on Thrash addict and that was when I "rediscovered" Anthrax. Since then, "Among the living" is one of my favourite Thrash albums ever and even though I didn't follow the most part of the post Belladonna era (the John Bush era that is), I thought that Anthrax is still a cool band. Maybe you wonder why I'm rambling about all that for so long. Well, the reason is "The greater of two evils", a 14 song compilation of Anthrax songs from the pre-Bush era. I'm sure everyone of you already knows that it's no cheap cash-in best-of compilation, but something really cool as the 2004 Anthrax line-up re-recorded these 14 songs in just two days. And even though I still think that the original versions are timeless, the five guys known as Anthrax (hehe, anyone remember that line?) did a pretty good job. In fact it's really interesting to see hoe this line-up interprets the songs. Well for the most part they didn't change much (for the exception of "Deathrider" that has a new pace in some parts), but the fact that John Bush is singing these songs is quite of difference, isn't it? The only sad thing is that they only recorded 14 songs (that were chosen by their fans if I'm correct). Every Anthrax fan would have had nothing against it if there had been some more I'm sure... Among those songs are "Caught in a mosh", "A.I.R.", "Kepp it in the family", "Indians", "I am the law", "Be all and all" (yeah) etc. Not only Anthrax fans should check out this CD, it's really cool. And if you're lucky, a copy of this album could be yours if you take part in our big Anthrax giveaway contest that can be found here. (Stefan)



CHAMPION – Promises Kept (CD / Bridge 9)

I guess, by now everybody has realized that CHAMPION is one of the best oldschool Straight Edge bands at the moment. Therefore my expectations regarding the first full length after two 7´releases were pretty high. And I´m sure that “Promises Kept” won´t leave anybody disappointed although it´s not too easy to tell what makes CHAMPION something special. Maybe it´s the backing gang-vocals just in the right place, maybe that little bit of melody or just those ass-kicking breakdowns. I don´t know what it is in the end, but CHAMPION just find the right mixture of everything that we love about Straight Edge Hardcore. For all those who need a comparison and don´t know CHAMPION yet: Imagine “110” from Count Me Out with just a little bit more melody and I think you´re quite close. And if you don´t know “110” just go and buy both records. You can´t go wrong! (Tobi)





The Comedown from Göttingen , Germany , started out three years ago under the name Comadoll. Over the years not only the name changed but also the music. The more pop oriented songs turned into a rougher sound that can be found on their self titled debut which was recorded between June and October 2004 and put out on their own. Considering it’s a DIY release, these 10 tracks have s good sound and also they layout of the CD is nice. The music is hard to describe, but maybe I’m not completely wrong if I say that The Comedown combine elements of Alternative with modern Rock/Metal (Attention: Fortunately no Nu Metal crap), with the Alternative parts being more dominant. I think it’s a pretty good start for this young band. The CD can be ordered for EUR 6,50 including postage through their website (Stefan)



DE-CON -- A Fallen Angel's Voice (CD)

Coming soon!



DRIVING THE SALT -- The Ghosts Stopped Watching (CD / Striving For Togetherness Records)

Quite some time ago Markus from Striving For Togetherness Records sent me this debut from Germany ’s Driving The Salt (the vinyl is available from Fields of Hope Records), and “The ghosts stopped watching” is a damn fine record. It’s exactly how a Hardcore record/band should sound these days: Full of energy, enthusiasm and fury. The 10 songs (including “I hate the kids” by Henry Rollins’ first band State of Alert ) are mainly fast, but always with a slight melancholic edge. This more sombre feeling can also be found in the lyrics who truly stand out from the average Hardcore lyrics. I really think that Driving The Salt is very, very promising and maybe I repeat myself, but in NO way this band has to hide behind American Hardcore bands. In fact, Driving The Salt are better that most US bands/releases these days, s I strongly recommend to check them out, they’re definitely worth your attention! (Stefan)



J*A*N FEAT. UDSSR -- Donde Está La Libertad? (CD EP / DIY)

Coming soon!






Coming soon!





NOINFO -- Nothing Till Now (CD / Escape For Today Records)

NoInfo from Italy were completely unknown to me before. They started out in February 1998 and released their first demo in September that same year. In 2000 the second demo was released and 2002 saw the release of the debut album "Out of setting". Meanwhile it's 2004 and NoInfo recorded another nine tracks that found their way on their second album. The music is fast Hardcore with melodies, back-ups and heavy breakdowns, sometimes reminding me of classic New York Hardcore. The lyrics are partly in English and Italian, and as there's a translation included you can read what these guys have to say. Even though I kinda like this DIY release it's no CD I will put in my player on a daily basis, because it's quite cool, but nothing outstanding and the vocals are just average in my opinion. Anyway, check them out and decide for yourself. (Stefan)



THOMAS VAN NORDEN -- Straßenlaternen Austreten (CD / DIY)

Thomas van Norden plays guitar and sings in a band called Van Norden and plays drums in Lights at Amber. With “Straßenlaternen austreten” he releases his solo debut. He recorded all of the songs (11 tracks, 42:19 min.) on his own in his basement, played all of the instruments himself and here’s the result. If you are into singer/songwriter stuff combined with some lo-fi electronic and Indie elements (just listen to the great “Die kleinen Dinge”), you should check out this record. I mean there are several reasons fro checking it out: Each of the covers is unique and made by hand, the songs are very nice, the price of the CD is a joke (only EUR 3 plus postage), the lyrics are interesting, and a cover of the Smiths classis “Asleep” can be found at the end of the CD. I like these songs very much, so please get in touch with Thomas through or (Stefan)



REMAIN -- Promo 2004 Tape)

It´s just amazing what´s going on in the underground these days. Particularly in Belgium and The Netherlands there seems to be an unstoppable flow of promising Hardcore-bands that make us happy with their demos. One of those bands is REMAIN who some may know under the old name Deathxstars. On the demo are 4 well-produced songs that make the oldschool fanatic´s heart beat faster, especially the first two songs. Along with that comes a small Tough Guy influence like Terror. Do I need to say more? I don´t think so. (Tobi)





RECONCILE -- July 20th (CD / Varsity Records)

You like aggressive yet sometimes melodic Straight Edge Hardcore the way it came up in the late 90s? You like your Hardcore diverse but not exhausting? You do? Okay, then go ahead and buy this CD! This is definitely one of my favourite SxE-releases this year and I can tell you why: I really love Oldschool Straight Edge! I really do! But I can´t deny that besides the exceptions that you all know (Champion, a few others and those Boston-style bands on LockinOut) there have been few releases that really got me excited lately. So when I stumbled over an mp3 from a band from Buenos Aires , Argentina , called RECONCILE it hit me like a hammer. The song was “New Regrets” and it started with a riff that the Gorilla Biscuits couldn´t have done better. I know that most bands don´t like comparisons but that´s what came to mind first. Well, if that song doesn´t get you going I don’t know what does. “New Regrets” was from the “This Is Our Time” compilation on Still Holding On Records and all three songs from that comp. appear also on this CD together with 7 new tunes. All 10 songs are very diverse in my eyes and not the usual one-and-a-half-minute-umpta-umpta-song-with-the-obligatory-breakdown-after-the-second-chorus. Maybe you could say that there´s a small Newschool influence. The new songs are a bit more aggressive and that suits the band very well. So don´t wait for the newest hype from the U.S. and get in touch with the band on (Tobi)



V/A -- Hardcore 2004 (CD / Bridge 9 Records)

This 11 song sampler gives you s good overview of the current Bridge 9 catalogue (by the way, where are my shirts??). Bands included are Champion (yeah!), Stand & Fight, Outbreak, Anger Regiment (featuring ex Floorpunch members, but way slower than their old band), For the Worse (who totally reminded me to classic Cro-Mags), The Distance, Wrecking Crew (New York Hardcore at its best, with a singer who sounds like Roger Miret) and A Poor Excuse. I guess you will already have checked out one or more of these bands representing Bridge 9’s mid 2004 releases. Especially Champion are totally cool and when I saw them live during their last European tour they proved that they’re one of the leading Hardcore bands around these days. Anyway, Bridge 9 is a cool label, so don’t hesitate to check out their bands. This compilation is pretty good start to do so. (Stefan)