Friday, April 8, 2016

Cassette Review: Enemies "Negative Mental Attitude"

Every time I listen to a really good hardcore band I feel like typing up this hundred page story about how I listened to a lot of hardcore music in the 1990's and then by the early 2000's I stopped because a lot of it was going the way of what you would expect to hear at Hot Topic these days.   I won't name names, but you get the idea, right?   But then I realize as well that I probably take a stroll down memory lane every time I hear a new hardcore band and so much of what I write feels like it's just being reproduced and that's not cool.   Being able to bring about that sense of nostalgia mixed with current hardcore music coming back to its once glory days is perhaps enough praise for any band, but I feel I need to tell you more about Enemies.

These songs hit hard and they hit fast.   Sometimes the pace can slow down (like the last song) but they still hit like you just got punched in the face by a truck.   It's that loud distortion, it's that distorted blast-- this isn't a fight, it's an all out war.   One of my favorite bands (not just hardcore bands, but all time) is and always will be The Hope Conspiracy and along with Converge, I can see a lot of them in Enemies and that makes me happy.   It's not that everything is screamed in this growling sense (Which some people call Cookie Monster) but it's just all screamed as if in pain and that's what I love about it most.    This is the final message of someone, bleeding out on their death bed, telling you how it is.   

Aside from the raw emotions, you have to listen to the music to truly appreciate it as well.    There has always been this perception among hardcore bands (and I think it started with punks, mainly Sex Pistols) where if you play fast and loud enough then actual talent doesn't matter.   While it is true that I've heard a lot of hardcore bands in my day who seem to think making something louder makes up for a lack of talent, Enemies certainly does not lack any iota of talent.

From the precision drumming to the thundering bass lines to the guitar riffs which just help sing the songs and drive home the point, Enemies have developed some of the finest songs here and I only want to hear more.   I was going to make some comment about how this is titled and "Positive Mental Attitude" is something Pennywise seems to be about, but given the state of modern music by Pennywise it doesn't even belong in the same sense of thought.   Enemies forges ahead with their own path and it is one you should also take.  

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