INCH SCRAPER: HARDCORE 7″ REVIEWS OF FACE REALITY, NO SIR, AND STEP ASIDE
[The seven-inch record is a cornerstone for hardcore and the format continues to serves as an essential platform for disseminating music. Characteristically shorter song lengths make it possible for a band in this scene to make a statement over the course of multiple tracks and provide it in a way that is affordable. The purpose of the Inch Scraper column is to identify and offer short critiques of some new and recent releases in the 7″ format.]
What a raucous way to start the New Year! No Sir boasts members from a handful of California acts — including personal faves All Teeth — and leaves a vitriolic impression on Holy Land (Family Drugs). Mostly uptempo, filthy metallic hardcore with a D.I.Y. streak, the band apply a subtle sneer here-and-there to make caustic cuts like “The Kingston Beat” even more acerbic. “WRSHP” and “Pharmacy City” are short, though anything but sweet, while lengthier bookend “Rat Boots” snarls to a close.
Step Aside step Bold-ly into the fray with their debut Reaching Out (Life To Live). As my well-placed and overemphasized pun suggests, these straight-edge sons of Tucson look to the late-Eighties youth crew scene for inspiration, but energetic cuts like “Stronger Than Life” and the title track wouldn’t sound all that out of place on a lineup with the more modern likes of Rotting Out. Not too shabby for a first effort, especially given the band only formed this past summer.
Conversely, Face Reality‘s selft-titled second EP (Youngblood) is not similarly well-served by its revisionism. There’s nothing wrong with aping Warzone and Youth Of Today, per se, but unless the songs are tight and memorable, why bother? Instead, the Detroit crew present six songs of moshpit filler–in both senses of the word. Reasonably fun to listen to, but I’ll be damned if I can remember a single snippet of lyric or guitar hook mere seconds after turning it off.