Tape and Record Reviews March 1990
With a proliferation of local talent, this compilation houses a diverse allotment of modulation ranging from acoustic to hardcore. Dead City By A Lake is more than a blueprint (definitely not a sketchy outline but a credible portrait) that should put us on the musical chart elsewhere. Suggestion? Send it off to national zines (and I’m not referring to that money-grabbing MAX R-n-R). This is a fine collective effort from my opponents (ha,ha) Shame and R.U. My hat is off to these two cause-furthering iconoclasts.
If Gnawing Suspicion were still around today, they’d be pleased as spiked punch that there’s no straight-edge included on this (true). Frankly, I could have done without AB & The Deceivers. Taking parody pokes at esteemed local figures was amusing, but this Alexis Brill person seems to have a severe case of dementia praecox or something. “Carl Swanson’s Kinda Tall” is incredibly tepid and tedious. The most distinctive pieces (the best of the bunch) are Victims Willing’s “Lines are Borders,” Slaughterchrist’s “Feast of Consumption,” Rid Mission’s “Brand New Day.” Maimed For Life, Rid Mission and Hate X9 are proof positive that lyrical minimalism can be a vital and powerful medium of expression. And the assorted House of Cards? May it R.I.P. (Al, you’re sorely missed, please come back!)
This reviewer is much impressed by the everlast “Indestructible” inlay fold-out card and insert info (Bush is a four-letter-word). Thanks also for the stickers. Stay off-the-beaten-Zion-track and get this comp (you know where). Do it and let the good vibes roll. –Lars
Unless you can install pathos in your listener and play instruments with imbued passion, you best get out of the underground music biz. In the case of the Bad Yodelers, they’ll most surely be around for a long time (we hope). I know I’ll get shit for this, but it’s never mattered a great deal to me who has fronted this band. It’s the instrumentation that has been more elemental and driving. The music is BY’s pervading lifeblood and with the addition of singer Terrance Halterman on vocals, the band has become exceptionally moving and tenacious. With lyrical content that dwells on self-reliance, empathy and acute discernment of the surrounding world, you never feel gripped by an overt-political message of displaced pain. Unsettingling as it may be, the point here is to disperse the hatred through finding acceptance and tolerance in a caring unorthodox method. On the other hand, hatred is utilized as a self-tool for survival because, first and foremost, the only one to rely on is yourSELF.
Take for instance what hits too close to home, the poignant “Grow” and the autobiographical “Mother”—a yearning to bring back what can never return. And what about those cryptic, synthing guitars that inundate and complement each other so remarkably? It’ll rip you apart! My picks (as most outstanding and explosive) on the LP are “Wait” and “Know” (where the vocals are tightened) and the instrumental intermezzo, “Pert Near.” “Pert Near” is a fine example of what fervent technicians these musicians are.
Cultivated. Instinctive. Bad Yodelers will likely convert you to a devout fan with this rhapsodical album. I have to pinch myself in disbelief to remember that these are our town boys. Disgorge yourself from mundane regurgative hardcore and get a hold of the integral “I wonder…” Encores to Mark, Steve, Terrance, Brent and Dan for putting out such a potent and emphatic project. Keep ‘em coming. –Lars
Soul Force Records
When I first bought this 7”, I had no real intention whatsoever of reviewing it. Lover of the straight-edge genre, Lars is not (I literally loathe the very insanities of the absurd “S.E.-in-your-face” Y.O.T. type bands that Insight credits as “Inspiration”.) But hold on a bloody minute… Why then did I buy it? 1) To support locals. 2) Insight are a delight to watch live—their youthful stamina and angry, spontaneous roar of noise has an adamant, riveting impact. Ooey, yes!
After repeated listenings, I can’t stop from exclaiming that this is a damn good hard-core band! So good that when the tenant next door started banging and threatening to have me evicted, the chorus “Leave me Be” was raging in perfect timing. Ha, ha, ha! What more can you ask for? (Gotta love it, baby).
Let’s not dispute SE here — whether or not you disagree with the lyrics, they serve a purpose of challenging your own stance on your own beliefs. Songs I do adhere to in consideration of their basic tenets are “Believe” (substance abuse is a damn crying shame, and it kills me to see individuals destroyed by it) and “E.T.C.” (“End The Cruelty” is a humanitarian perspective in the interest of animal rights). Admit it, folks who go around mutilating each and every SE band in the movement have got some pretty shaky or staunch blinded beliefs (I should know, I have been guilty of it too). If you can’t matter-of-factly and openly listen to filter in out another’s ideas from which you assess your own interpretation, you’ve gotta be awfully weak and thus not “Standing Strong.” It’s a burden everyone knows (or ought to know).
I’ve got no major gripes about the music. In the lyric dept., the persistent connotation isn’t aimed at puritanical evangelizing (this is why I like Insight as opposed to exorbitant preachers) but rather — overbearing resentment. Thus can be directly linked to those fractional walls we are building. The perpetrator of Insight’s indignation is the frustration stemming from this fissure. Hostility shits. Sadly, the best way to motivate people is by employing friction-oriented means, not forbearance. Insight have a bounty of turbulent friction going on inside, and I hope (as I’m sure they do too) that the disunity won’t last. And maybe the next time around it won’t need to permeate the music.
Say…Integration anyone? Thanks, Insight, for bolstering and even adding to the education of an old lady in the underground (me). And hey, these kids are doin’ alright. –Lars
I think the time has come for anyone who might have dismissed heavy metal as a mere juvenile diversion on the rock & roll highway to reconsider. I’m convinced, after all, when Ogden, home of the Hostile and the far less pleasing Killawatt can churn out a band with the intensity displayed by Black Ivory, then you know this heavy metal business is catching on.
Black Ivory have definitely got something close to what it takes—reminiscent of Black Sabbath, Motorhead & Iron Maiden. If you’re into one or all of these bands, you are bound to find something on Merciless Vengeance that pleases you.
Like it or not, Black Ivory is the best metal band Ogden has to offer us. Besides, they use real blood onstage. –K.Kirk