Review Summary: anarchy and peace
I picked up this album for $5 in Santa Cruz the other day so I'd have something for the drive back home. It's too bad Still Life runs at under 30 minutes, because after the 13th track ends, I kept wishing there were at least a few more songs, but i felt it was still worth the purchase. The South Carolina crust punk legends did release their entire discography 4 & 7 years later through two different record labels, and just a heads up, the songs featured in the 1998 self-titled discography (the one I have) and Still Life do not sound identical, although the differences are very minor.
The sociopolitical ideologies of Antischism are apparent as soon as you look at the album art (come on, its crust punk), with a Texaco sign crushing some poor bastard's car. The image of impoverished, crying children on the back of the booklet was also a nice touch, along with soon to be disenfranchised Native Americans on the back of the case. These ideals permeate the lyrics and message of every track in the album, even the fillers.
"Failsafe" is a good start to the album, and introduces the main message of "get off the damn couch and make a change". "The Web (Of War)" Nothing special, but it did a good job at bridging the energy to one of my favorite songs on the album...
"No Hope". The changes in pace flow very well and the vocals are badass as ever.
"Pets or Meat" An awesome, disturbing skit. I don't want to ruin it, but it's one of the better filler tracks I've heard. This was a great way to transition into the next song.
"Greedy Bastards" Classic Antischism song. It has been covered by powerviolence/grind band Capitalist Casualties, and for good reasons. The environmentalist vocals add beautifully to the grating sound of the track, and the slow portions lead perfectly into the faster parts.
I had a problem with the next filler track "Ladies and Gentlemen". It was far too long, and although it worked up to a nice climax at the end of the song, the buildup was a minute longer than it should have been. It also annoyed me how this was the second longest track on the album. FAR too long for filler on an album that runs under 30 minutes. At this point the fillers better be as interesting as the "Pets or Meat" one, and half as long.
The pace picks back up on "Path of Destruction", a solid track with a nice riff in the hook.
"Fears Himself" God damn, another filler track. I don't think this one was necessary.
"Take Your City Back" Great song, high energy and the guitar playing offers some variety
"Progress" is a cool skit, deals with homosexuality in the military, and some of the stupid-ass arguments people use to keep the military purely heterosexual.
"Alien Race" and the 13th song "Freedom At Last" are both solid songs, though I prefer the 1998 self-titled discography version of "Freedom At Last" over this one for some reason
Sorry for going out of order, but the 12th track, "Mohawk Revolt" is an unnecessary filler that doesn't help in transitioning to the final song. At this point, a substantial part of the album is made of filler tracks. It would have been great if a couple more songs were added to round out the imbalance of actual music and skits. Nevertheless, for $5 I'm happy I picked it up. There are many excellent songs on this album, and the "Pets or Meat" skit should not be missed. If you like crust punk, pick this one up. Just be warned its a short album with only about 19 minutes of [great] music.