Review Summary: Last thing Im posting on this site under ANY account, so Goodbye Sputnik love Mark :D
Ten years ago there was an important event within the music world that many might have missed. I am not speaking of the signing of Mariah Carey's new contract on May 8th, nor am I speaking of Kelly Clarkson winning American Idol 2002, two events that i'm sure many wish to erase from their memory giving the atrocities said artists have committed to the industry. Actually I am not speaking of the continuation nor the discovery of any illustrious artist's careers but instead am talking of the birth of a band that would later move on to create something greater under a different name and with a slight personnel change. To look at things from another angle, what is the first thing you think of whenever you hear the word Explicit" If your answer is "fast", "brash", "loud" or "hyperactive" then you would be along the right track to get a rough idea of what the band that used this highly suggestive word as their name. In 2002 the only album released by the sadly undiscovered hardcore punk band The Explicits was released entitled No Remorse.
If you thought you were past your days of learning and being schooled then regress back to your days when you were just teething and finding your feet in the world for this is about to turn into a History lesson. Sit down, class, and take notes for this band achieved something truly incredible. Ten years prior to the formation of this band a certain attractive young female influenced by such bands as Garbage and Metallica picked up a guitar and began to learn to play. Her journey was a long one but eventually she sat down and began writing her first ever song. The song was entitled Indestructible and was a one minute fifty nine seconds dose of nothing but fast chord playing, and to bring this to life the girl needed a band. And so through this Renee Phoenix proceeded to find 20 year old guitar teacher Kevin Vu, Slipknot influenced drummer Jarrod Welsh and eventually Kevin's long-standing friend 18 year old Noah Ray, leaving herself the rhythm and vocal spot.
For a period of six months the band worked solidly on converting Renee's vision to a reality despite having no funds to support them in their goals but eventually the album was finished and, despite the drawback of having no record label to watch their back, The Explicits finally put their debut out. As a nod to one of Renee's many influences the album was named No Remorse which was also symbolic of the music that is found throughout this nine song and twenty four minute LP. What this band displays is nothing more than raw and aggressive music without any record label Nazi storm troopers keeping their genitalia in a vice and tightening it whenever they attempt to do something that may be considered more than a little unconventional. This left Kevin and Renee the chance to play as loud and fast as they wanted regardless of the lack of melody, Jarrod was able to go insane behind his kit and let off as many fills as he wanted and Noah could throw in bass interludes left right and center, but the centerpiece of this release is the mixture of sludgy, overly masculine shouting and incredible screaming from Renee.
Every song on here has something that is not only worth writing home about but is so good I would sooner have my balls cut off by a lawnmower and simultaneously be arse-raped by nine ninjas than not listen to this again such is the genius of the album. Desolate is a great song to be introduced to the band with starting off with a fairly heavy tone to it containing some great double bass work from Jarrod and morbid vocals from Renee. Those who have an ear for the death metal scene are in for a shock when listening to this song and hear the instantly recognizable roars of Piotr Wiwczarek of Vader fame in the background fitting perfectly around Renee's patterns. The two play off each other beautifully giving this song such memorability and is one that you will be coming back to time and time again. Indestructible is also a nice place to start off with this album as not only is it the first song the band did but also the shortest on the album and is nothing less than just under two minutes of absolute mayhem. The curse happy lyrics are delivered with absolute conviction by a demented-sounding Renee Phoenix here, screamed far better than half of the more famous people who perform this style of vocals, and of course there are the incessant chords and constant cymbal-crashes that just sweeten the deal. It does not get a lot better than this, folks.
Lies opens with an unexpected clean passage before once again the mayhem is unleashed with a ringing guitar chord and a scream that sounds as though Renee is about to come through your speakers and tear your face off. Then the fast guitar chords come in entrancing the listener and trapping them within a compulsion to listen to the entire three minutes of this song to see if it ever lets up. The swift answer would be that it doesn't with some of the best drumming on the entire album and a great vocal delivery from Renee during the chorus at around one minutes and forty seconds with her uttering "don't tell me what to do" in one of the most heart-wrenching sections of any album out there. Then as you enter the last quarter of the song and hear THAT crunching riff you realize exactly what you have been missing from this album and will immediately attempt to hit the repeat button. But do not for this album has a lot more to offer yet. Take that catchy-as-all-*** opening riff to the title track that bares an uncanny resemblance to the song Take A Look Around by Limp Bizkit, one of their only respectable songs. At one minute thirty five seconds, Jarrod is given a chance to truly shine with a absolutely incredible drum solo and then your jaw will drop again just as you recover with the following bass solo and then a memorable riff before the most powerful scream on the album. This is how music should be made-with passion, conviction and a loving touch and that is exactly what is heard on every song on this album.
Over It is essentially what Green Day should have been-the absolute perfect dose of punk music with quick frenzies of double bass drumming, a chorus that will forever stay with the listener and a mash-up of various guitar chords played with speed and precision to make a cacophony of sound that actually astounds every time. Sexxxplicit has a finely written and performed riff to open it up with the drums building up before a ridiculously good fill and then the insanity continues onward. On the one minute mark Renee comes in with a slightly higher pitch to her voice than usual and it leaves a real impact hearing just how diverse she can be but all the while the rest of the band never let you forget that they are there as well and not just along for the ride no matter how much of the front woman's show this is. Idiopath has some emotional lyrics and a wholly impressing instrumental performance that feels as though it does not last anywhere close to long enough with some fantastic drum fills throughout that never fail to stick out.
The other two songs on the album are the two absolute best on here though and they really are completely perfect. Static has some lightning fast chords and well timed drumming to open it up before Jarrod truly lets loose with a great beat that does more than merely create a rhythm and sense of time for the rest of the band but actually shines in its own right. Renee's frantic delivery of the lyrics serves as more proof why she really is someone to watch out for, and when the drumming picks up a little after a minor break the song goes into absolute overdrive. The guitar solo may not be the fastest out there but shows a large amount of prowess giving this album that tad of melody that many of the songs are missing in favor of the warped creations of Renee's mind and it could not have come at a better time making this one of the most varied songs on the album.
For those who know more of Renee Phoenix then they will know of her other band, Fit For Rivals, who have achieved nearly six million hits on the lead single Damage from their 2009 debut Steady Damage. Perhaps they will also have heard the album itself and will therefore instantly remember the song Get With Me, one of the highlights of that particular album. It should bring a lot of pleasure and probably tearful smiles to their face when they hear the song in its most primal and more aggressive, less polished but overall more superior version Suffocate. Renee sounds completely possessed on this song and it is by this point that there should be no doubt in the listener's mind that she had lost it by this point. This is not Renee Phoenix you hear but it is an insane version yelping her lungs out to great affect over the top of a somewhat simplistic but great instrumental and this stands out as the other of the two most recommended songs of the album.
For those who have been following this review then they should hopefully leave this lecture with it etched in their minds that in 2002 they should have stayed the *** away from the news of Paul Mccartney's second marriage and tuned into The Explicits, creators of one of the finest albums ever recorded. Technically proficient music is not what is offered here nor is melody but in its place one will experience the full ferocity that can be put into music by a loving and delicate hand. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, a wise man once said, and in Renee Phoenix's case it is clear that this was the case.