With caterwaulin' wanna-beasts everywhere you look, it's hard to know where real hardcore ends and mainstream screaming begins. But judging by the ear-shredding received after one application of Art Damage, the second album from this scrawny Aurora, Colorado, foursome, these guys are the for-real deal. They've got the growl call-and-response thing, but with muscular power-trio chops that could scare any seasoned prog-rock time-signature freak into girly-man capitulation. And they keep the lyrical body count high without skimping on the guffaws. These screamatoria can espouse a cannibal's worldview in which "we were meant to eat each other" and "the sound of cracking bones will be the music that plays us out," but the band's real contribution to the world of comedy is naming said number "Hey Kid, I'm a Computer, Stop All the Downloading." In that one move, they not only succeed in lampooning the wah-wah-whining of the record industry (also lampooned on the front cover's funeral procession coming out of the Capitol Records Tower), but they also probably scared the quivering crap out of some guilt-riddled kid scrolling past this title on Limewire. Later, on the panic-inducing "The State of Texas vs. Fear Before," they let you, lucky listener, be their unwilling riding companion as they bolt the scene of a murder. And even then, they have the good glee to include a sound bite from our dumbest American president.
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