Last Chance at Failure / International Sick Day
July 31, 2008
At the risk of sounding outmoded, dated and (proudly) un-Bluetooth-ed, I maintain that MySpace is still a great place to find new bands and get a little inside dope on what makes them tick. For instance, Fort Wayne hardcore vendors Last Chance at Failure list Pegboy and Slayer among several influences, which is at once very apt and irrelevant.Â
Forming from the ashes of Spitface 30 (and flaming out, only to pull a Phoenix move a second time), LCAF do justice to their influences without aping them. The change-ups and unrelenting ka-chunk of thrash, the nihilistic smirk of classic hardcore, and borderline pop-craft that adds dimension to their new disc, International Sick Day, without pulling a single punch. Get past the visceral cover art and the first songâ€™s title, â€œHell ... I didnâ€™t think a Trailer Would Burn That Fastâ€ (in the running for best worst song title of the year, btw), and let your eardrums share in the experience; the aforementioned first song busts out of the starting gate, battering unsuspecting listeners with a punk-fueled sonic fist oâ€™ pain.Â
It should be noted the punchy, clear production job by Geoff Montgomery serves the energy level and sheer sonic assault of the disc very well. On the pace-setting openerâ€™s heels comes the somewhat surprisingly tuneful â€œHappy Now?,â€ which is nonetheless hard-hitting in its own way (think Fugazi meets Bad Religion and Husker Du over several â€” several â€” coffees). A brief detour into more conventional modern rock, â€œBack-sided,â€ manages to bust out into a cathartic chorus. The boilerplate-tough yet melodic guitars on â€œInhale to Promote Calmnessâ€ drive a song that briefly brings to the fore a strength that LCAF will hopefully continue to exploit in upcoming releases: a sly sense of songcraft thatâ€™s usually left at the door in the hardcore world. The intensity level picks up and eventually peaks during the closing number, â€œDrugs Could Save Your Life,â€ a larynx-ripper of the first degree.Â
International Sick Dayâ€™s artwork is casually shocking, the song titles snide and the riffs alternately caustic and hummable. What more could a kid want?
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