Review Summary: Pg. 99 continue to improve both their production and their chaos, while another band plays next to them.
When it comes to DIY punk rock in the 90s, the screamo scene of bands such as Pg. 99, Saetia, City of Caterpillar, Orchid, and countless others is probably the best example of bands simply doing it for themselves. None of these bands were destined to be successful, but they all knew this equally well and simply made music that they thought was good. Pg. 99 is of course one of the
flagship bands in this genre, since they really are everything the genre should’ve been. They included tons of people in their band, their lyrics were always honest, their sound dark as hell, and their approach was punk in every way. They occasionally offended any outsider to their scene, they put out a ton of material, and every album of theirs has something interesting to offer. Today on the table, we have Document #3
; a mess of emotion, filth, and brutal honesty.
Right from the get-go, you can tell that Pg. 99 are maturing ever-so slightly into their masterpieces that came later in their career. For a basic overview, their early stuff was more traditionally hardcore, their middle material was getting more and more grind-influenced, they found the balance on two of their LPs (Documents #5 and 8
), then they got really weird near the end of their run. Document #3
shows them improving on almost all fronts from the release that came right before it, the aptly titled Document #2
. This time their songs are generally faster, their structures are more chaotic, and some experimentation is thrown in. For both bands on the split, 3/4 of the songs start with samples for example. The Pg. 99 side is far more interesting though since the production is slightly better, the songwriting is certainly better, and Reactor seems to be far more traditional when it comes to hardcore. To top things off, the Reactor side completely lacks bass frequencies. But, that’s pretty DIY I guess.
If you really needed to sum up Document #3
in a few words, it would simply be “very solid”. Neither band breaks much new ground, but Pg. 99 in particular improves while Reactor No. 7 is sort of just... there. There is certainly a ton of emotion behind Pg. 99’s side, but the production prevents it a tiny bit. Reactor’s production is very poor, but they come off as your run-of-the-mill hardcore band anyway so there’s not much you’re missing out on anyway. This is really only essential to hardcore fans of either band, but Pg. 99’s side is definitely the superior one; passion