V/A – Iowahardcore.com(pilation)

V/A – Iowahardcore.com(pilation) / 2004 Iowahardcore.com / 30 Tracks / http://www.iowahardcore.com / Reviewed 24 September 2004

Modern Life Is War starts out this comp with a very punk-influenced type of hardcore, a driving beat is added to a Hatebreed-style of vocal delivery in “Destination: Death or Better Days”. Even if the CD has some interesting packaging (what looks to be the same grade cardboard that usually keeps t-shirts folded correctly is used as the case, the recording on this disc is very professional and would allow for possible airplay should the disc fall into the right hands for a number of bands. The brooding breakdown of Dispensing of False Halos’ “If I Was Erased” shows a band that is patient enough to allow the intense energy coalesce into a brute force that lets itself out with double-bass pedals and brutal guitars. The disc falls into a mild rut with some underachieving tracks, most notably those by The Kinship, Brian Jones, and In Loving Memory. The common thread that each of these three tracks share is an arbitrary desire to just move from a lighter to a heavier sound, without much rhyme or reason.

Preacher Gone to Texas brings back the rock to the disc with their well-arranged and screamy “Radials on Rumble Strips”, a true showcase of a band that is able enough to insert more melodic lines with all-out rock. Meth & Goats mixes together Hives-style rock, Marilyn Manson, and the shredded guitar lines of Slash to make a bizarrely-dancable tune in “Art Corpse”, while another weak spot is shown during the Il Lust/La Mantra De Fhiqria/Eucharist section of the disc. The exact middle of the disc is where the CD starts to shine again, with King Toad laying down a Les Claypool/Primus-influenced track in “Fashion Model Superstar”, in one of the most catchy tracks that any Iowa band has ever put out (yes, even that famous Iowa band can’t compare).

However, where the off-beat can be the cutting edge of greatness, it can be the dull edge of crap, as evidenced by Tokyo’s Dong “Girls Can’t Get ‘Nuff My Shit”. Iowahardcore.com(pilation) rapidly spirals away from the portended hardcore into a myriad of different genres and styles after the half-way mark, and thew quality just as quickly starts to decline. The disc was front-loaded with the best tracks getting the most play at the front, and while there are still some good tracks towards the end, Seven Days of Samsara and Showering Ashes to be specific, there are a lot of weaker tracks in the deadlands of the second half of the disc.

Top Tracks: King Toad - Fashion Model Superstar, Showering Ashes – 1 in 150, The Sharing Massgraves – The Pledge of Allegiance

Rating : 7.0/10