Gorilla Biscuits
Gorilla Biscuits


4.0
excellent

Review

by FilupLees USER (13 Reviews)
June 3rd, 2011 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Straight-edge vegans who make good music AND manage to not scare you by making eye contact.

In many ways the Youth Crew movement represented the end of 80’s hardcore. Even if you ignore the numerical fact that the decline and eventual demise of the scene began in the 90’s it becomes obvious that said demise seemed to take place around the same time that Smells Like Teen Spirit became so successful. After that the hardcore, and punk scenes in general, began to change. The crowds at shows went from angry rejects to blue-haired kids with Rancid shirts who were like, so totally punk rock, guys.

Before all that we had Gorilla Biscuits who, oddly for a straight edge band, had named themselves after quaaludes. They, like most of the Youth Crew bands on NYC, found themselves in CBGB on weekends watching Youth of Today doing something that had hardly been done since the days of Minor Threat. They were using the aggressiveness of hardcore punk charged with uplifting and straight-edge messages. Like so many of their peers they picked up instruments and tried to emulate one of the freshest things to happen to standard hardcore since the early 80’s, and they emulated well.

The music itself isn’t complex for any genre, but it manages to do what most punk bands find themselves unable to do: they know how to make tracks with differing tempos! That becomes perhaps one of the most interesting elements to this EP. While most punk bands do manage to bring anger, speed, provocative lyrics and a sense of excitement to their work the Gorilla Biscuits manage to do it on every song, and in heaps. There is no denying the anger in Civ’s voice throughout the album, but unlike the tired message of “I hate cops” they are mad at people for not striving to better themselves or any social change. Their lyrics range from friendship to “finish[ing] what you started, be[ing] open hearted, [and not] be[ing] retarded” which is always delivered by an intense punk yell, giving it that edge that keeps them from sounding like an after school special.

Secondly, their speed. While they certainly don't have the speed of the early cross-over thrash bands they do manage to use their speeds at the right times. They shift from fast to slow multiple times through most songs which is an impressive feat when most of your songs run about two minutes. They found times and places to let the drums and bass shine through instead of riffing on and on for hours (or minutes I guess, it’s only punk) with their dual guitars. The dynamic shifts from loud to soft, fast to slow were somewhat of an oddity at the time and perhaps the reason this has endured so well. Finally we must touch on the youthful energy and exuberance this album has. Civ’s voice seems to crack every couple lines, every time a drum head is hit, or a string vibrates you can hear the frenzy, or the attempts at technicality. Essentially, you can hear exactly what they intended you to hear.

The Gorilla Biscuits made one of the most exciting EPs of the 80’s, and perhaps punk in general. Truly they could not have possibly made a better album for their time or place. These days there’s a reason that mentioning straight-edge conjures up images of Gorilla Biscuits nearly as much as Minor Threat, and in the same way that mentioning Youth Crew brings up thoughts of both Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits. They sure as hell didn’t start those movements, but they damn near perfected them.



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user ratings (93)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
FilupLees
June 3rd 2011


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Shame on this site for not having reviewed this already.

This is better than Start Today. Deal with it.

ihopeuchoke
June 3rd 2011


668 Comments


I've never actually listened to the entire album, but the song No Reason Why is one of the sickest punk songs of all time. And great review btw.

FilupLees
June 3rd 2011


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, this is only 20 minutes or so. I'd definitely advise you to check it out.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 3rd 2011


50455 Comments


Good review.
"While they certainly aren’t the speed of the early cross-over trash bands they do manage to use their speeds at the right times."
Try don't have instead of aren't and trash instead of trash.

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

FilupLees
June 3rd 2011


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks.

cross-over trash XD



FilupLees
June 3rd 2011


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love the early cross over stuff, Gang Green and Void are awesome. Before they both went into bad metal mode.

Blackbelt54
June 3rd 2011


4275 Comments


Start Today is awesome, I'll have to get this. Nice review btw

Digging: Cayetana - Nervous Like Me

RagingStorm
June 4th 2011


509 Comments


fuck ya gorilla biscuits

RagingStorm
June 4th 2011


509 Comments


nice review bro as well, pos

Dummit
June 4th 2011


353 Comments


YO SUCKA, YOU GOT A BIG MOUTH...BUDDDDUP-BOW!


Minor Thread?

FilupLees
June 4th 2011


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn it, thanks

FilupLees
June 4th 2011


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

We're just... A Minor Thread

accompliceofmydeath
June 11th 2011


4225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love how much CIV squeaks on this album, cracks me up. Album is incredible though.

Digging: Cruel Hand - The Negatives

FilupLees
June 11th 2011


344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, if you like that and haven't checked them out, you should listen to Gang Green. Their first ep/comp tracks are coked up 14 year olds playing cross over thrash.

accompliceofmydeath
June 12th 2011


4225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha, awesome. I'll check it out, thanks.

accompliceofmydeath
January 25th 2012


4225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

NO REASON WHY!!!

sakatat
March 8th 2014


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules



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