Release DetailsLABEL Hydra Head
RELEASED ON 7/10/2007
American Nervoso (Reissue)
posted on 10/2007 By:
Along with Coalesce, Converge, and The Dillinger Escape Plan, Tacoma’s defunct Botch are renowned in -core circles, and are rightfully namedropped whenever anything even remotely chaotic is up for discussion. Hydra Head began reissuing their discography last year with 061502 and Unifying Themes Redux, but the real meat comes in the form of their debut full-length American Nervoso and sophomore follow-up We Are the Romans. Undeniably influential, the latest version of AN reminds one why this quartet was and still is so revered.
First unleashed in 1998, this reissue is a remixed, remastered edition that features five bonus tracks – “Stupid Me,” “Spitting Black (Extended Version),” “Hutton’s Great Heat Engine (Demo),” “Rejection Spoken Softly (Demo),” and “John Woo (Demo)” – which are secondary in comparison to the album’s core material. Nevertheless, extra songs are always a plus. Still, from the wily, scream-laden introduction of “Hutton’s Great Heat Engine” to the post-hardcore of “Dali’s Praying Mantis” to the dissonant, mind-bending nature of “Oma,” which is exceptionally groovy and tastefully piano-riddled, this foursome prove inventive at nearly every turn. Compositions like the bombastic “Thank God for Worker Bees,” the knotty “Rejection Spoken Softly,” and the chaotic stop/start closer “Hives” are evidence of pure songwriting know-how and skilled musicianship. As said earlier, the bonus tracks won’t upend the Botch aficionado in any way, shape, or form, but are nice to have and hear regardless.
Though this short-lived, unpredictable four-piece would reach their peak on 1999’s We Are the Romans, American Nervoso set the stage for such success, and inadvertently spawned groups that would lace their -core with more than a few Botchisms, if not downright copy the whole blueprint. There’s no better time to (re)acquaint yourself with a band that’s gone, but certainly not forgotten.
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We Are The Romans (Deluxe Edition)
Unifying Themes Redux
An Anthology of Dead Ends