Monday, February 6, 2012

Suburban Scum - Internal War

Suburban Scum is a hardcore band from New Jersey, playing some heavy tunes so guys with face tattoos and basketball jerseys can practice their karate kicks on the dance floor. The music is heavy but the attitude of the band is honest in it's delivery; meaning, it's not trying to create a facade of being "from the street". These are four kids from the suburbs who just happen to like playing this particular style of hardcore.

The production on the songs is huge. High gain guitar, top heavy bass drum and roomy snare make for a pretty large sound. The vocals have a great screamy nature to them which leans toward the higher end of the register. For a band like this it's different and I think it's a welcome deviation from the typical lower tone vocals you would hear in this style of music (see the cameo on "Self Loathing" for an example of the predictable low tone vocals).

"Count My Blessings" starts the record off with a direct hit of palm muted moshy guitar and pummeling bass drum. At 1:40 it comes and goes quickly but sets the tone for what you can expect on the rest of the record. The band mostly keeps things in a mid tempo realm and breaks it up with slower parts to create emphasis. "Internal War", with a run time of 1:18, gives you a great example of this dynamic. Some of the melodies created by the guitar voicing can be catchy and I think this is best exemplified in the opening riffs of "Self Loathing" and "Blind To Life".

Lyrically, the band leaves the tired topics like "my crew" or "unity" that are common to this music in the dust. What you get is some extremely angst ridden and depressed fare reflecting on failure, loss and anxiety. There's an honesty to the lyrics that adds to the whole presentation of the band that I mentioned earlier. It almost makes me want to try on a basketball jersey. Almost.

Download it here.