I'm going to let you in on a little secret here, boys and girls, I usually don't like powerviolence. I know that may discredit me in some of your eyes (which it shouldn't, because that would be stupid), but it's just the truth. I love bands like Infest and Spazz, and that's cool, but I don't "get" a lot of newer powerviolence; So, when Lenny from Falter asked me to review his band, and I found out it was Powerviolence (kind of, I guess), I was bummed. However, giving every submission its fair chance, I listened to these dudes through their Demo EP and split with Milorganaut, and... I dug it. Self-loathing, possessed vocals scream on through downbeat bass and drums, and it kicks ass.
If I enjoy it, you definitely will:
"Betray" - The first song I heard by Falter, "Betray" starts off with a great floor tom beat, and builds up to the opening lines, "Every single day, I don't want to try," punctuated by heavy, grimy guitar riffs ringing out. The lyrics are dark at best, covering the complete breakdown of a man (it's always a rule in criticism to never assume the narrator is the author), and the self-destruction of his mind. A great narrative, fueled by pure self-hatred and hopelessness, that rages with the speed of Infest and the heaviness of Spazz; not quite as pummeling as Iron Lung, but very, very close. Right on.
"Desolate" - Starting off with a jammy, groovy little riff, this song quickly cuts out the bullshit and dives into fastcore, with the drums banging frantically and the guitars muddled with speed. At the end of this assault, they bring back that sweetass little riff from the beginning that left me headbobbing and mean-mugging in the middle of Starbucks. Any song that makes you act like a goddamn fool is one that is worth listening to.
"Sellout" - Despite my disinterest in most fastcore/powerviolence, it really is amazing how much music they can fit into such a small amoutn of allotted time. In 56 seconds, this song goes from Coke Bust speeds to heavy metal-influenced halftime that kicks ass. I really wish I could say more, but this song is only 56 seconds. Plus, I like leaving a little mystery for you, viewer (you're welcome).
"Deaf" - A dirty riff to start, adding crashing cymbals and parallel bass to get a wall of headbang, that's what this song is. One of the more crowd-friendly fastcore songs I've heard.
"Possessed" - ...Nevermind, this one is. Clocking in at 27 seconds, I actually thought this was the intro to "Choke" on my first runthrough of the album. However, what most bands cover in 2+ minutes of aggression, Falter covered in 27 seconds, so I give them props for that. Brutally/off-puttingly fast intro, with mind-numbing slowness to end the song. Right on, right on.
"Choke" - Starting with the ringing out that "Possessed" ended with, this song isn't much of a showcase for the guitar and bass, but a platform for the harsh, crowd-bashing, vocals that work at double time, adding in a second vocalist (like Spazz. Hell yeah. And I know that had 3. Shut up.), and spew hot oil on the ears of whoever's brave enough to step up and hear this track. You won't be let down.
Split w/ Milorganaut (only Falter's songs):
"Tension/Regression" - Turning back to fastcore, and abandoning a slow intro track, Falter rips through 30 seconds of powerviolence madness before doing a beautiful half-time part that does showcase the guitar with heavy, heavy, heavy riffs a la Infest and Spazz, and vocals that belt out on every off beat--everyone's got a part. Hell yeah.
"Carcass"- Again, these guys faked me out with a 27 second song. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... Anyway, this song is a brilliant little fast song that resolves into a groovy, self-collapsing end with the repetitive screaming of "motherfucker." Needless to say, I'm into it.
"Cave In" - At 2:00, this song is the second longest in their career, and a sampling of some of their better, more refined aspects. From the quick, speedy intro, to a slower verse to, finally, a self-immolating outro with... what? Feedback. Holy shit, dudes, I've waited 8 tracks for this! And it was well worth it! Feedback makes me smile. In the words of Aloe Blacc, "You make me smile." A citing of that was as unnecessary as me doing my reviews in a Starbucks. But, in both cases, better safe than sorry.