Birth A.D. - I Blame You
Sorry in advance if this review sucks. First one and all...
My introduction with this band began in 2010, when I went to the old Emo's on 6th street to go see DRI at the advice of a girl I met at a Skinny Puppy show, having no idea that the show would change my life and musical taste forever. Of the three opening bands there (Birth A.D., Condemned Unit, and Blunt Force Trauma), Birth A.D. had the biggest impact on me, and I picked up their demo/EP "Stillbirth of a Nation" on CD as soon as possible. For the next two years that followed, I had memorized each song by this band, attempted to find out when they'd be playing nearby (and failing to scrape the bucks together), and blasting this record every morning before I went to school in 10th grade. Trust me, there is no greater satisfaction when you go to Fuckhead Central High and the band you're listening to perfectly describes the people you deal with.
Fast forward to 2013, and the band has maintained a very dedicated fanbase, played across the United States a couple of times, and after a while of searching, finally found a record company to distribute their work - proof of that lies in the copy of the band's debut album, "I Blame You", which was recently released on Unspeakable Axe Records. For those of you who've never heard this band before, their sound is almost exactly like one would expect a band to sound like that arrived from the crossover movement despite being a new band. Unlike most bands of the neo-thrash movement, however, they actually work it out a bit so they don't sound like they were frozen in 1986 with each passing album. The vocals delivered by bassist Jeff Tandy can be described as "yelling", however I'd personally classify it as a cross between a rallying cry and an irate man driven to the brink of insanity; these are supplemented by backing vocals/gang shouts by guitarist Brian Morrison and drummer Mark Perry. Anyway...
The album was engineered by Alex Perialas, who famously worked with Nuclear Assault, Anthrax, Overkill, and SOD, among others, and it becomes very obvious to those who had listened to the EP (most of the tracks were rerecorded from Stillbirth - think what DRI did with the Dirty Rotten LP and Dealing With It!) that his work definitely brought out the best of the band; the drums are crisper, the bass is more prominent, the vocals shine out more, and the guitars come through with a more aggressive tone than before.
With 18 tracks running at just under forty minutes or so, this album is completely devoid of filler. Each track feels like the musical equivalent of a baseball bat between the eyes - fast and intense, and the band just refuses to let up until the record is over. Make no mistake, however, this isn't a band that's gonna spend time beating around the bush. If they have a problem with you or anything you stand for, whether it's the trendiness of the retro-thrash movement, the shithead jock mentality, coattail riders, or even the local music scene, they'll say it without mincing words, firmly adhering to a delivery of spit-fire vituperation in a minute and a half instead of dicking around with "two extra solos and a mosh part" or some shit like that.
I'm finding it harder to describe this record in clearer terms, because when it comes to track by track reviews, I just find it hard to do. It's not a record that can easily be painted over with one big brush, rather, it's one of those "hear it and then you get it" records, if you catch my drift (for the curious, Stillbirth is out on their Bandcamp page, and there's a few I Blame You songs floating around on the internet), but if you enjoy old-school hardcore/thrash and/or any of the "three-letter thrash" bands (DRI, SOD, MOD, early COC)...or if you're just a fan of music that makes you want to get up and break shit, then I'd advise you drop the ten bucks and pick up a copy of I Blame You. :rocker:
Bring Back the Draft
This Scene Sucks
I Blame You
Short Bus Society
Fill in the Blank
No Jobs (Don't Work)
Blow Up the Embassy (Fearless Iranians From Hell cover)
Fun fact: Sakis Tolis makes a brief appearance in the gang shouts during "Kill Everybody".
Solid review man! I saw Birth AD last week, they sounded good, even though I'm not that familiar with their material. I will have to listen to this album!
Dude! A cover of Blow Up the Embassy?! I'm gonna have to check this out. Fearless Iranians From Hell are awesome and a band who covers them has gotta be as well.
Update: The album is streaming now at the Dark Descent Records Bandcamp page with a $6 digital download. Go check it out!
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