Tuesday, May 10, 2011
By the Throat - One Good Night EP on Winter St. Records
Got this in the other day from Chris at Winter Street records, who is also a member of this hardcore 4 piece out of Boston, By The Throat. Of course they've all come from a long line of previous projects mentioned in the one sheet that led them to this concoction of aggresive punk.
This 5 song EP, (in true hardcore style) doesn't even have song titles listed anywhere and I started wondering if this might even be like one long concept single, like Zen Arcade. What's more hardcore than just saying fuck it to individual songs...here's our sound, it's meant to be taken as a whole experience. They keep this stripped down feel consistent and I like the classic way this is recorded, it might have something to do with the 33 speed, but the guitars have that low in the background quality, the way guitar was supposed to sound in harcore, with a little of that metal distortion sound, and loud up front vocals...lyrically it's introspective, look at what's going on in your own life, don't blame these external forces, stop being a dick, essentially.
This sound can't help but be nostalgic for me, and I think hardcore sort of always will be historically. Everyone first get into this sound in high school listening to all kinds of different genre's and this immediately speaks to being pissed off and having this kind of insane destructive energy. On this 7 inch I just hear skating in the garage and listening to Suicidal Tendencies, How can I laugh..., (there's no better band name poster to scare the parents than that one) which always seemed to be the go to cassette for acting like idiots and falling on our faces...or elbows...or knees. You need to have this soundtrack for testing the boundaries of acceptable behavior. At the Taco Bell...the Mall parking lot.
Not to say this is some kind of rehashing of that sound at all, in fact they hit on all the things I honestly still liked about it, the rawness, the energy. It isn't fast just to be fast, they're catchy, coming in together for the chorus, a little bit party, not altogether against everything or overly political, or indecipherable yelly vocals.
Really though, What's a more honest, sincere statement than this? They obviously enjoy this style and want to contribute to the long history as straightforward as possible, but there's literally no other motive in hardcore that I can see except for wanting to hang out with your friends and play music you would listen to. It's a part of American history you can actually be a little proud of...that I can't find any problem with. I sort of imagine myself out in the yard fixing the lawnmower, I'm listening to a classic hardcore station on 'radio', Black Flag and DRI and my kids are making fun of my old person music. Whatever, they're probably into future Lady Gaga or something.
Sitting right in the middle of the speakers I'm getting a massive separation of guitars, all the way panned left or right, I keep thinking something is behind me almost, coming from another part of the apartment. It doesn't sound like it gets too caught up in a lot of the unbending ideology of the hardcore sound either, the multiple layered chord progression at the beginning of the second side could go in so many directions, sort of post punk and then busts that apart with that sound of scratching the strings all the way down the neck, to signal, this party is now getting started.
I love this sleeve, a 3 color linoleum cut, really thick wet looking ink, great color, the epitome of DIY. I like this acknowledgment right off the bat, you get a pretty good idea of what's inside...and even better someone had these all spread out drying in their kitchen. You're holding this object that someone gives a damn about...every single one.
Get it from Winter St.'s bigcartel page complete with insert of bad ass black and white show photos and download card. I like when there's a mess of stuff inside, but I HATE these plasticy crinkly resealable fold over sleeve things! I want to pick up a single and slid it out onto the turntable, not fight with the thing sticking back to itself 10 times. The first thing I do is throw those things away. But then I'm good and mad and need some breaking shit music, so in that way it makes sense.