Release DetailsLABEL Tribunal
RELEASED ON 5/11/2004
Never Good Enough For You
posted on 8/2004 By:
Metalcore has changed quite a bit in the last few years. Long before acts like Prayer For Cleansing and Killswitch Engage started lifting melodies from Gothenburg and mixing them with emo inspired vocals, the metalcore, or “crossover” scene as it was once called looked very different. Bands like D.R.I, Cro-Mags, Suicidal Tendencies, and the almighty S.O.D took the basic thrash formula, infused it with some hardcore edge, and molded them into short bursts of airtight aggression. Why the history lesson? Well, just recently I had begun to wonder just what the hell happened to this style of metalcore. Enter Killwhitneydead, and their homage to the early days of crossover. Never Good Enough For You is composed of 17 tracks that simultaneously pay tribute to the thrashier side of metalcore, and the darker side of the male psyche.
Never Good Enough For You gets by with a barrage of punchy riffing, hardcore breakdowns, and Slayer-esque solos. And movie samples. A lot of fucking movie samples (but I’ll get to that later). There’s nothing on display here that you haven’t heard before. The riffs are simple, but played with sincerity and enough energy to light up Reno. Take for example, “I Didn’t Know ‘I Love You’ Came With a Knife In the Back." This song blasts out of the gate with some tremello riffing in the vein of Malevolent Creation, and culminates in a crunchy old-school breakdown. Nothing special really, you and your buddies could play these riffs if you were so inclined, but, Killwhitneydead are exceptionally tight and as a result can get by with the simple stuff. “Love is Like a Mouthful of Broken Glass." is another thrashy number that simply reeks of Reign in Blood era Slayer. Killwhitneydead close things out with “Nothing says ‘Party’ Like Her Head on a Stick." This is essentially and all and out thrash tune. It features two pretty intricate riffs and a blistering solo that disapears just as unexpectedly as it arrives. Lyrically, the group deals with the well documented agony of betrayal and the short lived ecstasy of revenge. It’s your typical, “Bitch, you cheated on me, and now you’re gonna bleed!” stuff. It is dumb.
Then there’s those samples I mentioned above. There’s over 40 by my count. Take into account that this album is only 30 minutes long and you can imagine how even the most appropriately placed Family Guy quote can be grating. Especially when you’re getting into a song and you’re suddenly greeted by a Lee Ermy sound clip. Used to such an outrageous extent, the samples eventually establish themselves as another instrument, and as a result are open to critique. The even tempered opener to “I Didn’t Know ‘I Love You’ Came With a Knife in the Back” is pretty damn hilarious. And, there’s an ode to Jack Black in “The Fine and Subtle Art of Deception” in which ole Jables passionately implores the band to “ONE TIME KICK IT!” But, samples are samples, and I can just as easily get my fix by going to e-baums world and browsing the soundboards. If used to a lesser extent they might have improved the experience, but Killwhitneydead come pretty damn close to self-parody with their overuse of movie clips. They just get in the way of the metal, and lead me to not wanting to listen to the album as much.
Aside from that, there’s really nothing of note on display here. The band is tight, and seems pretty comfortable playing the same song 17 times on this album. It’s redundant, but at least they play the hell out of that one song. As for the samples, they just don’t work for me. However, I’m sure there are more than a few movie buffs out there that will appreciate the Momento references. Add to that a layout that features Katie from Suicidegirls.com doing all kinds of kinky stuff with a butcher knife (and no clothes) and you’ve got an album that may offer some fleeting visceral satisfaction. As for me, well, I’ve pretty already used up every ounce of blood Never Good Enough For You has to offer.
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