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|4.0 excellent||jigsoreterror | March 26th 11|
Another slab of Japanese metallic hardcore/punk from Crimes Against Humanity, here a bit faster, rawer, and slightly more typical than Urban Head Raw, but that's not a bad thing at all. There are still a few solos, some ripping crossover/thrash metal rhythms, and the vocals are midrange yells. "Smash" has some quirkier rhythms and basslines that stand out (though it's not one of the finer cuts here), "Route" has a really unexpected melodic passage just prior to a quick little lead burst, "Stir" starts out like a traditional metal track before plowing into more driving sort of hardcore/punk chord progressions, and "Energy" is somehow more memorable and almost a little catchy. There's no great variety or anything, but the songs are short and focused so it's not a bland set of tracks or anything like that. Aside from the fact that the vocals lean just a smidge too far out front, I think the recording is awesome. There's enough definition to the bass, the drums sound totally natural, the guitars are fine, etc. The mix of the instruments is dead even and cohesive, and the slight edge of ruggedness is perfect for this style. The last three tracks are bonus tracks and surprisingly have a slightly tighter and clearer sound, which is even better. Stylistically they're right along the same lines, too. The layout's not bad here. The cover painting is a little weird, but there are some cool color live photos (where the band looks quite metal), the lyrics look cool and appear in both Japanese and English, etc. The content seems to be an even mix of loose socio-political commentary and personal issues, with nothing getting overly specific or anything. This is a cool CD. It's pretty brief, and it's nothing that will blow you out of the water, but it's very well executed and enjoyable. I'm definitely keen on this whole tactful meshing of thrash metal and hardcore/punk, so I'll look forward to hearing more.
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