Review Summary: If you enjoy more recent post-hardcore albums such as [i]Relationship Of Command or Full Collapse, this classic album is definitely worth listening to. It will become a new favorite, and at the very least will give a glimpse as to how the genr
A few tracks into Slip
, it's easy to see why the album is considered a classic of the hardcore/post-hardcore genres, and by some (myself included) one of the best albums of the 1990s. Even the most untrained ear should be able to pick up the similarities between this and albums released by later bands such as Thursday, At The Drive-In, and Hot Water Music. For example, listen to "Dine Alone" and then "Paris In Flames" by Thursday. It's definitely an influential album, deserving of classic status for its impact on rock music if not for the fact that it's just a damn good piece of music.
The music on this record is never over-the-top; each riff is rhythmic and flowing, fairly technical but not overly so. It's played with a confident flow, with the bass, guitars, vocals, and drums all locking together cohesively into a deadly groove. It's hard to pick out an example because the album almost always carries this "groove" from start to finish. The rhythms are constantly shifting, but it never feels awkward or forced. Everything is straightforward, kicking ass and taking no prisoners.
One of the simplest but most engaging qualities of the music are Walter Schreifels' vocals, which are similar to Ian MacKaye in delivery, but more melodic and possessing a more rhythmic quality. The former singer for Gorilla Biscuits, he would go on to sing in the short-lived but adored project Rival Schools. His passionate yelling/singing serves well to bring out the aggression and fury of the music. In fact, this album as a whole resembles a more melodic, dense version of Fugazi or early Tool.
A good example would be the ending of "Unfulfilled", where he keeps a steady 4/4 rhythm, barking out each syllable "TIME- TO- REACH- OUT- FOR- WHAT'S- REAL!" as the bass cuts out and the guitars play an engaging breakdown. "Omission" also showcases the rhythmic vocals, which are somehow even more infectious than the heavy metal riff they flow over.
As far as songs go, there are none on this album that ever beg to be skipped, aside from maybe the lackluster but still passable "Can Opener", or the instrumental "Baphomet", which grows thin after repeated listenings. Some grab the listener immediately with their crushing riffs, such as "Dine Alone" and "Omission". Others are highly melodic while still retaining a harsh edge, such as "Too Official" or "Lie And Wait". At the same time, none of the songs ever really sound alike, something that can not be said of more popular peers Fugazi and Helmet. While the feel is the same, each track stands out easily on its own, with memorable hooks and riffs that instantly set them apart from the others. The album still feels incredibly cohesive though, with the songs all working together as a whole despite the fact that they all stand on their own.
Definitely worth buying if you can find it, and if you can't, it's definitely worth downloading to at least check out.
Lie And Wait
-anything off the album really-