Release DetailsLABEL Napalm Records
RELEASED ON 1/10/2006
Fear In A Handful Of Dust
posted on 1/2006 By:
Modern American groove-thrash that's heavy on the hatred, but lite on ideas.
“Alright, one song down.” That's what I thought to myself during the first break in action on Hurtlocker's, Fear in a Handful of Dust. It was, in fact, the end of the album. That's what happens when a band writes one song, and plays it ten times in a row, without a single change in pace or volume. Granted, it's a good song. Thick, TIGHT, thrashy, aggressive ... the kind of thing I could totally get into if only slightly more dynamic. But, unfortunately, it's not. There are just too many bands with a better grasp of how to pull off this style.
So, imagine Lamb of God without the outstanding drumming, or Chimaira without the occasionally remarkable solos or melodic choruses, or Byzantine without the interesting time signatures, and you've got a decent idea of what Hurtlocker sounds like. In fact, imagine most of the more aggressive NWOAHM bands stripped of any distinguishing characteristics and playing up-tempo groove thrash for 45 minutes non stop. Galloping, tight, repetitive but rewarding if taken in small doses, Hurtlocker's brand of neo-trash doesn't offend my senses in any way, it just kind of numbs them. There's a subtle Pantera influence here as well, but only in that vague every American band who's played heavy music since 1998 kind of way. I don't know what else to say. For those of you with guitars nearby, try the following: Play two power chords in quick succession, fire off six palm muted open notes on your E string, then play two more power chords. Maybe the same ones, maybe a few frets up. Whatever, it's up to you. Have fun with it. If you've got a disgruntled roommate nearby, tell him you just stuck your finger up his girlfriend's butthole. As soon as he yells, “Fuck you, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!” play that riff again. After that just chug away on an open E chord. That's a Hurtlocker song. But, you know, shorter.
I hate criticizing bands like this. Because, this is kind of what heavy metal should be all about. It's not pretentious, or overlong, or even all that poorly written. But, it's also not all that moving. You could probably get just about as much from thinking about what this band would sound like, as you would by actually listening to them. I'm sure if Hurtlocker could add some distinction to their sound, or figure out that intangible that elevates well played music, to good music, then I'm sure they'd be a blast to listen to. For now, they just sounds like a couple of roommates arguing over who stuck what up who's ass over some throwaway Pantera riffs.
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