Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review/Stream: Sex Prisoner- State Property EP

I guess Caution likes my reviews because I have now been asked to review another Bad Teeth Recordings release (you can see my previous reviews of Spine here and Wake Up Dead Comp here), I am not complaining though because a. they have all been killer, and b. he is an awesome guy and I love being able to return the love he has sent my way. So off to my menial ramblings:

Sex Prisoner was a band that I had known only through name up until I reviewed the BTR Comp a few months back. The name always caught me, but I never really picked up any records, probably because I was too busy nerding out on German Crust or Japanese Hardcore. Anyways that is somewhat irrelevant because I now know who they are and have become somewhat acquainted with their sound.

As I write this sentence I am beginning my second listen to the record in its entirety, (my process generally involves multiple listens where I write a bit more with each consecutive play). Also as I sit here, I struggle to remember exactly what I said about them in my previous review, I knew I liked it but I didn’t remember exactly what I said in detail. So rather than rack my brain too much I am going to look it up. Ah, here it is:

I have to say that the first part of the song did not really catch my attention. It seemed fairly generic, however the song really comes into its own around the forty second mark, and from that point on I really enjoy the song. The most noticeable attribute of Sex Prisoner is their bass tone, Which I still can't decide if I love or hate. The bass sounds disgusting, it is loud and super distorted. At times it causes me to stop paying attention everything else, and other times blends super well into the mix.”

Ok, while I admit not the most flattering review, I do remember listening to it and liking it.  I can say a lot has seemed to change in the band’s sound. Now they don’t sound entirely different, they still definitely do the Hardcore/Powerviolence mix pretty well, but there is something new, that either the song on the comp didn’t have, or maybe it just didn’t pop out to me when listening to it isolated in a predominantly punk comp, but this new record has a ton of Old-School Death Metal influence. Sex Prisoner do it right though, they are not just yet another Nails/Trap Them wannabe hardcore band jocking the trend to hardcore fandom (not a slight at the two aforementioned bands, but at the slew of bands imitating them). Sex Prisoner have that DM influence without coming right out and announcing it, its there but if you don’t want to see you will probably just write it off as just another tough hardcore breakdown.

There is a lot that hasn’t changed for me at least. I am still not sure how I feel about the bass tone, it is equally great as it is chunky and a bit overboard, and you know what fuck it I love it because it has character. The drumming is completely top notch on the record. Quick fills and awesome snare bashing fill out the record making it pretty devastating. The guitar has a great tone, very much resembling the Swedish tone, without feeling like a slave to the generally overused HM-2 sound that I personally feel is killing modern fast HC. The guitar has character and clarity, which I feel would be lost in the monotony of the HM-2 tone. (So I don’t look like a clown if the guitarist does in fact use an HM-2, congrats because you do it right, but I have to say it doesn’t sound like he does).

By far my favorite part of the entire record is the beginning of the second to last track ‘Grabbed from the Dark’, which totally has this black metal/crust vibe to it. With each listen it completely grabs me out of my writing and gives me this refreshing feeling as if it was the first time I’ve heard it. (Update: 3 listens in and it is still doing it). Unfortunately, or maybe it is for the better, the part lasts all of about five seconds before the track returns to a more typical Sex Prisoner style riff. I really love when bands decide to experiment and stray from the path that they have defined for themselves, and often this doesn’t happen anymore.

I would have to say that maybe my only complaint with the record is that there are too many songs. I know it is only maybe 11 minutes, but for an EP I prefer 4-5 songs max. This is basically my main problem with fastcore bands. The songs are so short that they have to write more to fill out time, but so many songs played in a row begin to bleed into each other and make it harder for individual tracks to stand out. It is more apparent in LP when bands have 30 some tracks and I’m struggling to make heads or tails out of the record and individuality of songs. To me this feels like almost an LP’s worth of material for a fastcore band, maybe missing a track or two. But I also very well may be in the minority here. There is also the fact that I could just treat this EP as an LP in my head, but fuck it you are reading my review so you have to listen to my ramblings right?

Either way this is a strong release, by a strong band, from a strong label. Go out and buy it before it sells out, and enjoy the stream brought to you by Bad Teeth Recordings

 Standout Songs Include: ‘State Property’, ‘Rat’ and of course my favorite ‘Grabbed from the Dark’.

Buy Here
Bad Teeth Recordings Bandcamp
Sex Prisoner Bandcamp