EP Review: HATE MACHINE "The Movement"

405972_444534805577938_1470472091_nRochester New York’s very own “Original Metal Thugs” are back with this 5 song explosion- The Movement.  After dominating the Upstate NY metal scene in the late 90’s, the band has made a comeback and once again found themselves back at the top.

     The first track, Chainsaw Philosophy opens fast and furious.  The most refreshing element of this track is that after all these years, Hate Machine is sticking to their guns and not conforming to some of the terrible styles of “Metal” that make me wish I was deaf at times.  With lines like,”..Now, I’ve got a message for you. My knuckles pay the postage…”, the point of the song is clear.  Join the brotherhood or stay the fuck out of the way.
     While some might say that Track 3- Strings, steers off course a little bit.  This is the most catchy song on the EP and my personal favorite.  Vocalist, Jed Seaver demonstrates great ability to both sing and scream, while delivering passionate lyrics.  For any musician with a life outside of music, you can relate to the “Strings” that pull you in several directions and the sacrifice involved in following your heart.
     The overall sound is amazing.  There are crushing guitar riffs, tastefully done, and the overall mix is very clear. When a band goes away for while, the first thing that comes to my mind is whether or not the vocalist can still deliver.  Well, erase that thought from your head.  The cross over style of singing and aggression filled anger that made Hate Machine who they are is still in full effect.
     The only disappointing thing about this EP is that it is an EP.  I am eager to see Hate Machine put out a full length album.  If The Movement doesn’t get your head moving, you lack a pulse… and that’s another issue.
For more information on Hate Machine –

-Jason Acevedo
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Review: Last Under The Sun – Hooligan Jihad

Hooligan Jihad by Last Under The Sun

Hooligan Jihad, released November 23rd 2012, by Last Under The Sun is fast-paced hardcore punk that doesn’t hold back.

Last Under The Sun is a four-piece band based out of Birmingham England. They performed their first show in October of 2001, and continued to play in Holland, Belgium, France and Germany. Over the years, two of their drummers passed away: Neil Farrington in 2009 and Samuel Fry in 2011.

The five-song album starts off with “More Helicopters” which has a strong anti-war message, clearly stated in the lyrics “I don’t wanna die in your fucking war,” and finishes with a two minute sum up of the album in their song “Hooligan Jihad.”

The instrumentation in this album is solid. The beats are fast and in your face, clearly synced well through the many years of musicianship this band has shared. They blend punk and hardcore nicely, in that when they’re not blasting away their punk beats, they’re getting you moving with a breakdown.

However, with the good comes the bad. The lead vocals don’t seem to fit with the punk feeling of the songs. They are hard and raw; almost a blend of the punk and the hardcore, which would fit better if they created slightly less dissonance with some of the melodic sections of the music.

Overall, Last Under The Sun doesn’t disappoint. They are a fast, raw, in your face blend that is sure to appeal to punk and hardcore fans alike. Be sure to check out their videos for “More Helicopters” and “Ok Bye” below, both of which were created by the band.

 

Last Under The Sun – “More Helicopters”

Last Under The Sun – Ok Bye

Review: Sunken Ships – Sorry Is Just Five Letters Put Together

Here at Upstate Metal, we pride ourselves in knowing that we recommend great bands with great musicians. Unfortunately, Sunken Ships is not one of those.

Sunken Ships is a four-piece grindcore band from New Hampshire. The earliest record of their creation is June of 2007, and how they haven’t given up completely is beyond me. They have 357 Facebook likes, and that is baffling.

According to their description, “The juxtaposition of the frantic decimating grindcore and the taught and emotional synth pieces fit so well together it shows more than musical talent but beautiful ART ARRANGEMENT.” That’s a pretty audacious statement that these guys simply don’t follow up on. I’ve yet to hear any significant musical talent, and calling it “art” is bold.

They claim on Reverbnation their full-length album “Sorry Is Just Five Letters Put Together” was recorded by themselves in “The Grind Factory,” also known as their home. This could not be more evident. The sound of the guitars and drums are muddy and unclear, and is poorly mixed. The vocals are one of the best parts of the music; however, some of them take me back to a time of bad ‘80s power screams, and the gang chants are distant and hard to hear over the squealing of the guitars.  Most of the songs start with excessively long ambient noises or talking, and it seems as if every other song consists of 30 seconds of droning clatter.

The band states they are working on another LP, which is made up of songs that didn’t make it onto their full-length album. If this LP ends up as the same quality as their full length, I don’t look forward to reading or writing that review.

It’s difficult to pick out the positive portions of Sunken Ships. The drums, although poorly recorded, show some semblance of talent; yet the timings and beats fall off tempo almost all the time. The band does have a positive “I don’t give a fuck what you think, we’re just having fun,” attitude, which is fantastic for them. However, I can’t help but think that this attitude is a result of being told on numerous occasions that they aren’t good.

Despite whatever attitude the band may have, bands are judged more on their musical talent than how their personalities are perceived by their fans. A band like Sunken Ships is one that should stay in their garage with the door closed and soundproofed.

https://www.facebook.com/SunkenShips