Gorilla Biscuits
Start Today


4.5
superb

Review

by tom79 USER (76 Reviews)
February 12th, 2007 | 27 replies | 11,534 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Though only a band in their prime for a few years in the late eighties/early nineties and releasing only one full length album and one EP, New York’s Gorilla Biscuits were one of the most influential straight edge/hardcore bands. Following in the same path as Straight Edge founders Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits combine fast paced hardcore punk with positively inspiring lyrics. Start Today, the bands only full length and commonly cited as their best work, is one of the greatest albums to come out of the New York hardcore scene and easy to see why with a first listen.

Start Today, released in 1989 on seminal hardcore label Revelation Records, may sound pretty standard instrumentally when compared to other hardcore bands with a first listen but there was still that unique punch to them. Extremely up tempo, rough yet simultaneously catchy, and most of all an energetic deliverance can describe their sound but there’s still more to it. Anthony Civocelli’s lead vocals are a huge part in the dynamic part of the sound. Always giving it his all and never letting up, he sounds as if he is about to lose his voice at any given second, though it’s somewhat difficult to actually understand him at times. Lyrically, most of which were written by guitarist Walter Schreifels (later of influential post-hardcore band Quicksand), they enforced a positive outlook, integrity, unity and acceptance all within one to two minute punk songs.

A major pro of the album is its relentless spirit and overall consistency. Consistency not necessarily in the sense of memorable songs, but rather the albums flow and lack of a sub par song, even if some are under a minute. As said, most of the tracks are played at a very fast pace but they can also slow things down a bit, as shown on the title track but the thrashing immensity of the album finale Biscuit Power contrasts with it for the better. Star Today opens on a solid note with New Direction and gives you a good idea of what to expect. After a misleading short trumpet intro, the song explodes into a fast, punishing punk song with backing vocals in the chorus making for a signature song. Things We Say is a more melodic song that shows a catchier side of the Biscuits. Sitting Around At Home, a Buzzocks cover, is a hard rock/bluesier tune and completely stands out from the rest, but not inevitably for the better. Other tracks like the twenty-nine second Good Intentions and Time Flies are overall solid tracks that solidify the albums stability.

Where the albums seems to hurt most is the production, that gives the impression that it was recorded under a tight budget, which it was. And while it gives the songs a raw edge, it somewhat degrades from the quality as they sound more tame then they should. But that is virtually the albums only notable flaw. As mentioned, lyrics are a key point to the bands reputation. As a whole it encourages youth to start taking part and doing something with their lives with specific lyrics cut from the title track read “I've made enough mistakes for this lifetime now I’m here to make amends next time I’ll try, for the first time in my life, it won't pass me by”. Specific topics also tough upon animal rights (Cats and Dogs), anti-racism(Degradation), friendship (Forgotten) and just youth and positive attitudes (Time Flies).

To simply summarize, Gorilla Biscuits’ Start Today really is a pivotal album in hardcore. Raw energy with just the right amount of melody, motivating, intelligent lyrics, all captures in fourteen quick tracks. You should already have this if you are into hardcore but if not, but for fans of Minor Threat and 7Seconds and other similar bands, you will most likely enjoy this. Essential for fans of punk and hardcore.



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user ratings (263)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
February 12th 2007



4527 Comments


You're cool.

Also Recommended by Reviewer:

Minor Threat - Compelete Discography

Yarrrr....sounds like a good album.

Great work, old bean.



Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2007



16072 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a crime that you aren't on staff.
This is a good album; as stupid as it is one of the few hardcore bands from 80's I kinda want to see live still.

MrKite
February 12th 2007



5020 Comments


When you say "straight edge" what do you mean?
This bands name is awesome. I'll have to check them out.
Great review, too
I was actually thiking that too, Iluvatar. This Message Edited On 02.12.07

tom79
February 12th 2007



3347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here Kite
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edge

and thanks about the review guysThis Message Edited On 08.05.07

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Stray Dog Town

MrKite
February 12th 2007



5020 Comments


Thanks, man.

Intransit
February 12th 2007



2797 Comments


TOM 79 4 STAFF 4SRSLY

Great review chap. I've heard Start Today, and it was pretty cool. I'll be giving this a listen soon.

raus
February 15th 2007



20 Comments


I wish people who didn't know a thing about hardcore wouldn't try to review it.

tom79
February 15th 2007



3347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sorry i tried

descendents1
June 25th 2007



702 Comments


This album is awesome and I've wanted to review it. Too bad you're a God, Tom. I might have to pray about it.

God I love this album.This Message Edited On 08.14.07

botb
January 10th 2008



9288 Comments


This album is an instant oldschool harcore classic. I wish bands still made hardcore of this style and quality nowadays.

DOUBTER
March 30th 2008



7 Comments


^^^
True, they don't make Posi Hardcore like this anymore IMO

Great review by the way

PirateSquid
January 31st 2010



1881 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Such a fantastic album

Czoverton1
June 29th 2010



3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album that got me into punk music.

Inveigh
June 29th 2010



24196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

takes me back to high school

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

porch
June 29th 2010



8390 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

haven't heard this since 2005 probably, was never a fan


Inveigh
June 29th 2010



24196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd say 2004-2005 is probably the last time I spun this record

xfearbefore
September 26th 2010



1200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review for a brilliant album, one of the very best hardcore records of the late 80s, this is such an underrated group, pos'd for just doing this review.

Digging: Placebo - Sleeping With Ghosts

uninvited
December 3rd 2011



248 Comments


Rules.

Pharoh
January 11th 2012



3326 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

bump this to a 5, this albums a punk classic

fulgrim
January 14th 2012



1542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CAN'T YOU LEARN TO TAKE A FUCKING JOKE!



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