Monday, March 30, 2009

Defcon 4 - The Bad Road


Steve Austin's Supernova Records strikes one last time with the release of the brand new album "The Bad Road" from Boston bruisers Defcon 4. This is their third full-length and I still frequently spin their last opus of misery and destruction, "Fileunderfuck".

This is just miserable music for miserable bastards. Their last record was a great slab of dark, crust punk that also took cues from the doom and noise/rock genres as well. The result was short stabs of caustic aggression tempered with lowdown doom riffs, squealing guitar noise, unrelenting drums, structured bass and a vocalist that is extremely pissed off.

On this record the band changes things up a bit. The album is separated into four acts with each act incorporating a number of different song titles. Those that are familiar with Green Machine's "D.A.M.N" and "…Sky Valley" by Kyuss will know exactly what I'm talking about. The acts range from 4 minutes to over 7 and the band manages to cover a lot of ground over the course of a short 22 minute offering.

The first act opens with a very Eyehategod-esque moment that features the band launching in a downtrodden dirge riff complete with heart-attack vocals to match. Then before you know it they launch into a wall of pure hate and noise that combines crust, doom and near grind in a very threatening manner. Spoken word rambling then adds a distraught atmosphere to the track when a drum and bass part kicks in and before long we are sent back to their vision of white-knuckle punk rock.

That first act is just the tip of the iceberg too! Act 2 begins with throttling, crusty punk before slowing down and entering a New York alley and meeting up with Unsane as the pace slows and sludge encrusted noise/rock becomes prevalent. The second part of Act 2, "Collect my Guts" comes in with a much more noticeable break between the songs and is another mix of psychotic punk and doom/noise that never lets up for a single moment. The vocals in this track are downright insane with some maddening high-pitched screams entering the mix on occasion. Things define clearly once again in this act for "Trail of Blood" to rip through your speakers in all of its wild-eyed, punked-out glory with powerful riffs and a sonic array of battering drums and bass noise crashing down all around you.

Act 3 starts us off in the noise/sludge/metal realm once again with the seething, slow-burning anger of "Mind Forks" that eventually paves the way of the unstoppable punk/grind of "Plotting and Planning" and "Hair my Pillow"; a no bullshit, one two punch of ferocious speed that is occasionally broken up by some tense sludge-y riffing.

The band brings down the house on the grand finale that is Act IV. The most doom and noise/rock infused offering on the whole disc. As per usual there are faster punk ridden parts but there is also scathing doom breaks. One thing I have to say about all of the doom elements that Defcon 4 uses is that even when there is a groove going, it never feels uplifting. It is completely enraged and will seriously make you contemplate taking the razor to your wrists. This track though actually has the most out and out, Sabbath influenced riff towards its last section and it is a great way to close off the ever shifting moods of its 7+ minute running time.

I'm highly impressed by these Defcon guys. Both albums I've got by them are fantastic and they are certainly putting their own touches to this overall sound. I do believe this album is also a concept album of one man's descent into the deepest, darkest pits of everyday life.

All fans of noise/rock, doom, and punk should pick this one up. I'm hearing influences that include Discharge, Black Flag, Eyehategod, Unsane, Tear it up and many, many more notable artists but incorporated in a way that sounds only like Defcon 4. If you dig this type of stuff then this is a must have release. Supernova you have stormed out of the gate with a trifecta of epic proportions and I can only bet that more amazing releases are on the way in the not so distant future.

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2 comments:

Daam Nillan said...

Check it out! Trade links! You rock! Sweet album by the way

stevens said...

I saw Defcon 4 at Howard's in BG on some Supernova Records showcase or something of that nature. Never heard of 'em, didn't know what to expect. They did not disappoint. Then after their set, I talked to their singer about d-beat and Cock Sparrer. Rad as fuck on so many levels.