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November 17, 2017


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Burn Your Bridges
Burn Your Bridges (Deep Six Records)

By: Jeb Branin

Why is it that most of the bands I find myself drooling over lately are two-man projects? Records by LANA DAGALES, EAST/WEST BLAST TEST, GODSTOMPER, DATACLAST and IRON LUNG, for example, are practically welded to my turntable as of late. Now I can add BURN YOUR BRIDGES to that list. Comprised of two grizzled hardcore vets (is that a compliment?), BYB has the feel of a seasoned outfit in spite of the fact this is their first release of any kind. Bob (LACK OF INTEREST/Deep Six Records) and CHRIS (SPAZZ/Slap A Ham Records) bring their almost four decades of combined experience playing hardcore to bear on each of this record's 23 tracks. Although each song clocks in at roughly the one minute mark, there is a significant amount of diversity here. Songs like "Shut Up and Play," "No More," "Hang the Militants," "Pitiful" and "You Can Have It" are stripped down, full speed thrashers. Songs like "Self-Deprecation Martyr," "Washed-Up Has-Been," "She's A Powderkeg" and "My Cardboard Estate" are mid-paced, crushing ditties that are prototypic of what many would call power violence. Others like "Revolution Now! Destroy The Scene!," and "Time To Fight" are blistering, fist pumping, shout-a-longs. Some songs have quirky time changes ("Masterpiece In My Head"), some do not. Some are stop-and-go, while others rip like a bat out of hell from start to finish. All of them... every damn single one of them... is harsh, seething, angry and PURE HARDCORE! Bob smashes his kit with a frantic, yet precise, mania. He plays like a man deranged...One of the most rabid performances I've heard in a long time. Wow. Chris, who I think plays everything else, matches Bob's intensity and builds on it with his trademark musical vehemence. I can't wait to see how this translates to the live stage. The lyrics are definitely the icing on the cake. Not since the DEAD KENNEDYS "Bedtime For Democracy" has an album so accurately deconstructed the punk scene. Their ironic observations are only topped by their cleverness. Like so many of Jello Biafra's lyrics, many of these songs are built in such a way that the words actually counterpoise their surface meaning. "Time To Fight" is the simplest example. Constantly shifting from a first person to second person perspective the song has a classic "scream it from the pit while you mosh it up" chorus built around the line "Fight-It's time to fight" yet the lyrics actually mock the mentality of staking your place in the world with your fists. I love it. Somehow a hardcore band has more credibility with me when they turn the mirror towards the scene than when they try and establish some awkward, macro-social/political agenda in an attempt to join the punk rock pseudo-intelligentsia. Obviously this is an album that you should track down.
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