Review Summary: Will Killingsworth's best band since Orchid
Okay I admit it, I selfishly wrote that summary only to attract attention. You may proceed with the tarring and feathering of my hide after I finish this review. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, there are several facts to consider about Vaccine. For one thing, they're from Boston. There's a somewhat unfortunate unwritten rule of hardcore that if the band's from Boston they automatically must
be good. This can lead to an awful lot of plugging in reference to bands that almost completely can't live up to the hyped expectations (The Boston Strangler, anyone?). Another thing to consider is that Vaccine is an edge band, which means every musical move they make is scrutinized by an already (usually) holier-than-thou sect of punk followers who appeal to one thing and one thing only: The Mythical Straight Edge Council™ on high (pun completely intended). To come full circle back to my summary, yes, this is a band of Will Killingsworth's. So Vaccine will naturally be unfairly compared to Orchid, Ampere, Bucket Full of Teeth, etc. by a rabid fan base not even caring that these bands really have nothing
With all that considered, Dead Inside
is a beast. A caged, filthy beast, hopped up on angel dust, gnashing it's teeth in the most flagrant and pants-crappingly way possible. Thematically the album deals with typical XXX fare, with song titles such as "Unbreakable" and "Moral Decay." Unlike their split release with Coke Bust from earlier this year which was the pleases and sparkles of powerviolence releases, Dead Inside
is a rotting corpse of an album: the guitars are tuned lower; Matt McKeown's vocals are set lower in the mix, the whole affair is messier, kind of like the aftermath of a brutal murder/suicide.
McKeown, incidentally of No Faith fame, had already established himself as one of the best voices in powerviolence on Vaccine's 2011 5" release Crimes In Blood
, and his frenzied growls are back in full-force after what some might call a retread on the Coke Bust split. Guitar-wise, Matt Swift and Killingsworth, on guitar and bass respectively, conjure up a forceful sonic presence in the vein of early Weekend Nachos and Mind Eraser. The sludgey closer "All I Know" is one of the best examples of this, pulling at various heartstrings through it's feedback-drenched 59 second run-time.
is the work of a band prepared to place themselves at the forefront of the powerviolence genre. For once it's fairly safe to say that this band is worth the attention they actually aren't really receiving. Only time will tell if Vaccine will become the next great hope, or just another one of Mr. Killingsworth's many, many products. For now we should all stand at attention and embrace da hatemosh.