Swamp Thing
The Youth Is Sick



by botb USER (9 Reviews)
May 18th, 2008 | 2 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mixing the best of the old with the new, Swamp Thing find a good balance and put out a solid modern hardcore release with their own twinges of sound on a worn out genre.

Swamp Thing is:

Robert - vocals
Kage - bass
Mike - drums
Griffin - guitar
John - guitar

One may find that sifting through the ever growing and ever monotonous volumes of hardcore albums can be not only tiring, but can kill one's love of the genre. If you are a hardcore fan, then you know about the "old school" classics like Black Flag, Bad Brains, and Minor Threat that defined the genre in the ripe Boston, Los Angeles, and D.C. hardcore scenes back in the late 70's and throughout the 80's. While this sound has been time and time again duplicated to some extent, very few bands can come across as having their own style in this seemingly worn out genre. Newer hardcore bands in today's standards (such as bands like Bracewar, Floorpunch, Down To Nothing, This Is Hell, etc.) try very hard, but only a very few elite bands find their own sound in the seemingly uniform-sounding niche that is hardcore. Swamp Thing is one of these bands. Coming out of the ripe Richmond, Virginia hardcore scene (one that branched out of D.C.), Swamp Thing combines the old sound with the new and puts their own spin on it, and have been playing shows all over the states since their formation in 2005.

Like many hardcore demos and albums, this demo is very short and clocks in at a little under a whopping 12 minutes in length. However, every second is chopped full of Swamp Thing's own blend of hardcore. Vocalist Robert screams with every bit of emotion he has in all the songs. He has a raspy scream of sorts, but you can just feel the emotion oozing out of it, which makes up for his lack of variation in vocals. He keeps the music moving at its intense pace throughout the entire demo.

Guitarists Griffin and John play heavy power chords that are very common for the hardcore punk scene. However, the mastered sounds of the guitars is full, and really adds to the intensity of the music. Bassist Kage and drummer Mike make up the solid rhythm section of Swamp Thing. The listener can hear Kage throughout the entire demo, so whoever mastered the demo did a very good mix. His bass lines provide the backbone for the riffing and the aggression of the guitarists.

Mike is also a solid plus on this demo, as the drumming is very good. It not only adds to the overall intensity of their sound just like the rest of the instruments, but adds their own sound and twist to the hardcore sound. Instead of basic beats that one would find in hardcore, Mike uses more intricate beats using both double bass just enough and toms in his drum beats- as heard in songs such as Liar's Tongue that would otherwise be very run-of-the-mill of the genre. While there is some basic hardcore drumming, Mike definitely adds to the band through the drumming to create a more complex sound than the regular hardcore band.

The lyrics are another plus, as there is heavy meaning behind Robert's lyrics. The whole demo is about saving the monotony of the youth in today's society, by giving them something to fight for and something to believe in. Lyrics in songs such as The Easy Way will be gems in some people's eyes. The Easy Way is a straightedge hardcore anthem that will make people see parallels to "Straight Edge" by Minor Threat. Lyrics screamed with such emotion that it gives chills:
"Even though it's young
We're proud of what we're doing
Even though it's young
We're proud of what we built
And we're not trying
To catch a break
And we're not trying
To take the easy way"

The climax at this song truly makes this a modern day must-listen. "The war is starting and...It's going worldwide." screams Robert desperately and in comes a part that will be tearing up mosh pits for years. Overall, this is a very refreshing demo that shows the listener that the run-of-the-mill hardcore genre is not completely dead and that young bands like Swamp Thing will continue to put their message and sound out there for kids to embrace so that there is indeed hope for the youth in times of struggle.

Track by Track:
"Intro/My Attack" - 3/5
"Square One" - 4.5/5
"Liar's Tongue" - 4/5
"This Month" - 3.5/5
"Damn You" - 3.5/5
"Matt" - 3/5
"The Silver Linings" - 4/5
"The Easy Way" - 5/5

Overall, a solid 4/5.
- http://www.myspace.com/swampthingrva

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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 19th 2008


Missed this, nice to see a review come around. Pretty good, i'll check it out.

July 2nd 2012


seeing their last show today, hope they just play everything off this.

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