From Birth To Beast
posted on 11/2008 By:
Aslut hails from Tulsa, and do you get the joke there? Yes, their name is Tulsa spelled backwards. There's a Larry The Cable Guy joke about that, but I'll spare you from reading it.
From Birth To Beast is the band’s debut release, and it’s a decent but disjointed hardcore punk record, cycling through a lot of different ideas but never quite creatively coalescing into anything even equal to the sum of its parts. Opening with the eleven-second "Ahole," From Birth immediately runs into the brick wall of two of its least interesting tracks in "Shitter’s Full" and "Whiskey And Rice." Both these tracks fit the genre-standard format of simple chord riffing, snarled vocals, with some skanking up-stroke riffs that remind me of vintage Operation Ivy or even an angrier NOFX. Then there’s the first of two pretty but unnecessary acoustic guitar interludes (this one titled "Interlude")—both of which are louder than the tracks that surround them—before the album settles into a crossover thrash groove that works surprisingly well, especially surprising when considering the punk-by-numbers blandness of what precedes them. It’s with these tracks ("First Act Of Violence," "Boot Party") that Aslut finds its feet somewhat, falling into a solid if still generic Municipal Waste-styled vibe with thrashy riffs and gang vocals. "Wake Up" is another thrasher, and "Stirring The Soup" drops into a deep breakdown to get the pits moving, but regrettably doesn’t add up to much more than that. The sound-samples in "Industrial Complex" sit uncomfortably on top of the band’s best riffing, and then the album closes with the other unnecessary and overloud acoustic guitar track.
The performances are tight, and the production is acceptable, aside from the jarring incongruity of the pointless acoustic bits being mastered too high. There’s nothing remarkable on either front, I’m afraid, neither in sound nor presentation, and that pretty much sets the tone for the whole disc. I’m a pretty big fan of most hardcore punk, and there are bits of both traditional hardcore and thrashing crossover that work on From Birth To Beast. Overall, though, they’re simply too few and too far between to warrant much pursuit. Not quite there yet, guys.
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