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July 23, 2024

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Shreds of Dignity (Spitfire Records)

By: Jeb Branin

My love/hate relationship with this band continues. Y'see I have always loved the hard hitting, double-barreled-blast-to-the-head, chugga-chugga, metal-core of PRO-PAIN. Although they have never come close to reaching the magnitude of THE CRUMBSUCKERS (from which they were spawned), they still hold their own in the AGNOSTIC FRONT influenced world of NYHC. When you want simple, fast, thick metal-core they almost always deliver the goods. They are like the east coast's answer to later-day D.R.I. and this new album is the best one they've done yet. The problem is that along with the rough and tumble music comes a tough-guy, blue collar attitude-which in an off itself is not a problem at all. The problem is that attitude seems to encompass some questionable right-wing philosophies. They don't always seem simply "tough and proud" (which I can respect) but tough and proud at someone else's expense. They scapegoat others (which I don't respect). On their first album years ago they targeting Latino immigrants and on the new album they take a jab at the "welfare state" demonstrating that things are not really improving in the ole' lyrics department and making me wonder if they don't try too hard to have street credibility-When your music hits this hard, you don't need to try, you've got it. The band would probably call their opinion "honest." Which seems to me to often be a euphemism for "uninformed--but I don't care." When all is said and done, I listen to a ton of music which contains lyrical ideas that I either don't agree with (sometimes adamantly disagree with) and so I will play this album while reserving the right to have my opinions differ.
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