Trapped Under Ice, Big Kiss Goodnight (Reaper)
Baltimore isn’t the first city that comes to mind when talking about hardcore. Yet the brisk, fulminant rise of Trapped Under Ice compels us to take notice of Charm City. You don’t listen to Big Kiss Goodnight; you benchpress it, each of the thirteen cuts a document of Justice Tripp’s eyes-wide-open rage. More to do with NYHC than that of nearby D.C., Trapped Under Ice appear to be the long-awaited spiritual successors to Madball’s empire. The issues Tripp covers certainly aren’t the exclusive domain of his hometown; they’re the same problems countless young Americans are struggling with today, where politicians’ inability to govern leaves an entire generation saddled with no foreseeable future. On “Victimized”, when Tripp shouts “The American Dream is a lie / That’s why I say ‘I was born to die’” you know he believes it. So do the band’s followers.

(4 out of 5 horns)

Cerebral Ballzy, s/t (Williams Street)
Imagine, if you will, a version of the Circle Jerks fronted by Keith Morris, only with Harmony Korine’s hand up his ass. Removed from a time when this stuff was revolutionary, this sphincter puppetry makes for some vaguely confrontational good clean fun. Unworthy of its stellar Raymond Pettibon artwork, the album goes where hundreds more have gone before–and still do–though, in this case, the financial backing of a Time Warner business unit makes the attention all more undeserved. Are Cerebral Ballzy hipsters? Skaters? A punk rock Odd Future? No matter, you can confidently buy this for your sullen tween nephew and not worry that it’ll send him down the wrong road. Some of the tunes aren’t half bad either, and “Cutting Class” and “On The Run” will get stuck in your head eventually, whether you want them to or not. Personally, I’d rather not.

(2 out of 5 horns)


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