Release DetailsLABEL Loudspeaker Records
RELEASED ON 9/2/2003
Are We The Culprit
posted on 10/2003 By:
The next highly touted UK act following Charger and Labrat, that will be on doubt on everyone’s “where are they now list?” along with Pulkas and Kill 2 This. Smartly though, Landmine Spring have chosen a genre that appears to be peaking right now-the emo tinged hardcore/metalcore that has a stranglehold on the US music scene. So are LS the UK's answer to Poison the Well? Sorry, but no. Despite adding their own typically quirky UK influences to the expected metalcore structures, LS do little more than offer a standard release that wont get any attention in the swamped but undeniably talented US scene. Being English myself, I had high hopes that an act from the homeland could compete with the tide of US metalcore, but I’m sorry to say that LS just don’t compare. There's just something lacking. Don’t get me wrong there’s a fair share of crappy US metal emo core, but "Are we the Culprits?" just lacks something. Maybe it's American arrogance and bravado, maybe its just Americans are angrier, more pissed off and more loaded with rage inducing fast food, but LS just seemed flat lifeless and unable to get me to feel anything remotely resembling excitement. Even some of the recent so-so Tribunal stuff at least has a riff or two worth repeating, but throughout the 11 songs on this album my pulse didn’t deviate once. Of course they tease you with a haunting piano intro, “The Last Good Day Above Ground”, that ends with an ominous voice snarling “Now it Starts”. But it doesn’t start at all, and that foreboding intro is misleading, because after the first few promising bars of “Red Threesome”, the album essentially musically flatlines. As with releases of this style from all Country’s, it has excellent drumming, with stop start staggering beats mixed with more fluid commercially viable riffs and clean vocals to balance out the hardcore influence. But with songs I can only term as “wet”, all the angst, fervor and traditional emotions of hardcore are tangibly missing, as if the English barren and overcast way of life has itself found its way into hardcore normally energetic output. Of course maybe it’s me. Maybe I was expecting too much for this to sound like their US peers, and in fact LS wanted to carve out a little dreary niche for themselves. But with vocalist Ron Newsome bellowing with a typical Hardcore approach over choppy, stomping riffs, what else am I supposed to compare it too? Add words like “colossal”, “elephantine” and “anger” thrown about in the press release, and it's obvious what they want to sound like. Although the press release specifically states they sound like “Helmet butt fucking Stamping Ground’, the end result is more like Pulkas gently caressing and snuggling with Downset. Not to mention all of the materials stompy moments all sounds the same even though they come with a taught non-traditional but weighty guitar tone. “Traces of Davdison”, “Gilligan’s Gold”, “The Mermaid’s Forth Head” and the other equally “hey look, we don’t sing about being angry teenagers or dead girlfriends” titled songs all deliver the same punchy but lackluster drivel. SO Landmine Spring, yes, you are the Culprits of delivering yet another failed attempt to resurrect the UK extreme metal scene, while at the same time sullying a perfectly competent US metal scene. All in one go-nice work.
Register to post comments.