Release DetailsLABEL Selfmadegod Records
RELEASED ON 1/5/2005
posted on 2/2005 By:
I’ve been on a bit of a hardcore kick lately, listening to the new Agnostic Front in addition to my old Madball discs. So, when searching through the list of albums that need reviewing, I came across Shackled Down, a band that boasts of playing New York-styled hardcore/crossover, in the vein of Sick of it All and D.R.I.. I decided to grab it. What I didn’t expect was some NYHC straight outta the mean streets of Poland. Really. It goes without saying that The Crew is an amusing album.
Apparently these Poles have learned the most important lesson of old-school hardcore – you must pack as many songs into as short a timespan as possible. This lesson results in a 17-minute long, 14-song “full-length” album. It certainly makes for an easy review. You all know the sound by now: thrashy, lots of power chords, basically heavy punk. As far as hardcore goes, these songs are middle-of-the-pack, with decent riffs, but just too short to get any semblance of a song forming. But the one thing they have going for them that none of the Gotham heavyweights have is a Polish vocalist. His vocals are clean, so you can clearly hear his standard Polish accent, along with the expected hilarious mangling of the English language. I can’t fault him for it, but I also can’t help chuckling at song titles like “Get Out Off My Face” and “Moustache Coated Boss”.
The opening track showcases the fun that the band is having, by including some hand claps for percussion, but also betrays the weak production. What could be riffs with bite just end up sounding like they came out the weak amp that I play on. The drummer loves the clicky sound of what I think is his snare drum, but he mixes in some odd fills that are atypical of this genre. “Twentyfucktalife” is a fun, fast track, although I wonder if it’s a shot at the old band 25 Ta Life.
I wish that Shackled Down were a big more aggressive in their songs, because they tend to lean slightly towards being more punk than hardcore, and the lightweight production doesn’t help. But I feel that these guys are sincere about their hardcore, even if they are a few thousand miles and 15 years removed from the scene they love.
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