Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 6/18/2006
City of New York
posted on 8/2006 By:
Bottom Line: Meat and potatoes old school hardcore is the order of the day for Seizure Crypt, and while that might be enough to please the most exclusive genre enthusiasts, City of New York, like its title, is a little too bland for most diverse palettes.
Seizure Crypt chug along in a mostly uninspired fashion, glimmers of faint passion decorating the tradition-adhering twenty-one minute album. One of the lengthier tracks, “Stalk,” packs the most walloping punch, but like the fat turd that sits at the end of the bar waiting for a fight, it takes too long to get its ass up and get to the thrashing. There’s this awesome moment about 1:18 into the song where the vocalist belches out this impressive set of threats, all done in the coolest rhythmic tone, and I thought for a split second that these guys had some real talent. Three minutes into the same track they veer into Sonic Youth territory with heavy feedback and instrumental fuckoffery. On perhaps any other album that effort might be commended, but it’s distracting and perplexing here.
With its shouted gang vocal chants, short and simple soloing, and fervent pace, “Inhuman Nature” typifies the City of New York experience. It’s not going to inspire hate mail. It’s not going to bring many new fans aboard, either. It exists. It has been recorded. Maybe that’s the point. Artistic integrity stops there. I know that if I had the technical chops to record my own music, and I had made up my mind to produce an album as short as this, I would ensure that every minute were gold before its release. Municipal Waste does this well. Gama Bomb does this well. Toxic Holocaust does this well. Seizure Crypt kind of phones it home, and that pisses me off. They also describe their sound as speedcore, but I honestly listened to far too many meandering and slower passages to describe it as such. Simple hardcore seems to do the album justice.
I understand that by its very nature hardcore is fairly one-dimensional, but there’s nothing in the rulebook that says variation between songs is blasphemous. It’s not that they aren’t trying. The attempts simply fall flat. I can’t really tell if the sing-along stuff like the opener to “Deathrider” is supposed to be a joke or not because it’s not funny. If it’s not a joke it’d almost be worse, because if it were a joke I’d at least recognize that it was all in fun. Isn’t hardcore supposed to be somewhat violent, threatening, venomous, and passionate? Isn’t some of the best hardcore a little tongue-in-cheek, too? Pick one guys, and go with it. I am a little angry here because these guys exhibit talent with “Stalk” and “Herein Lies the Problem,” but the rest of it can be thrown away and never listened to again.
I actually did laugh and exhibit a degree of excitement near the album's end. Out of nowhere, the band jumps into this technically impressive acoustic arrangement just before City of New York’s end. I guess it’s kind of a hidden track, but usually bands allow 30-40 seconds of silence between the last song and the unlisted one. It’s a little over 10 seconds here, which is a good move because I hate having to skip through so much time just to get to a hidden track. Anyway, the hidden song reminds me of flamenco, though a little less challenging from a technical standpoint. It’s all too short-lived, as that was perhaps the album’s finest moment. Though I wasn’t particularly impressed with this specific effort, I am going to keep an eye on the direction of the band and I suggest others who dig some of today’s more noteworthy hardcore and crossover acts do the same. The band is honest, puts a lot of care into its website, hosts great live shows, and boasts a fairly impressive musical pedigree. While they didn't hit the mark on this one, I am willing to bet they'll give it another shot and improve on the follow-up.
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