"Self-titled" CD (Deathwish)
Okay, so I hate damn near everything I hear these days. So I hate on pretty much everything with equal (and, I might add, well deserved and honestly earned) malice and loathing. So I'd as soon flay most bands as listen to even one song on their shitty fucking records. So what? There are some albums that are so gleefully destructive that I forget that I hate almost everything and, for my money, Deathwish is well on its way to being my favorite label of the year. I'll spare you the bullshit about saving hardcore and punk from itself, but in 2004, Deathwish seems to be bringing Molotov cocktails to a switchblade fight. Sex Positions, as one example, features traditional elements of modern hardcore (think about bands like Give Up The Ghost and The Suicide File for a starting point) and quickly veers off into experimental territories not unlike those mapped by Black Dice, Arab On Radar and other bands that venture into the more extreme realms of noise. It's loud, fucked up and sounds like a car wired with about 200 pounds of C-4 in a demolition derby. When I listened to this on headphones, it was even better because it features panning effects, lots of frequencies which elicit feelings of nausea and bits of stuff that really won't be audible on speakers, no matter how good they are. While I can't yet say that this will be one of my favorite records of the year, I can say that this collection of songs reminds me that punk and hardcore were once aggressive, confrontational, defiant, and uncompromising, and that some bands make it a point to embed those qualities in everything they do.