I don’t ask for much in powerviolence. All I want is for it to make me want to run around my room and incite a one-man moshpit, whilst screaming at anyone who might intervene, followed by plans to quit my job/school/anything else that requires responsibilities (delete as appropriate). Not much to ask for a genre built upon a foundation of hardcore and grindcore, right? There’s room in there for something a bit more artistic too, generally in the form of harsh noise, but on the whole, I want my powerviolence to sound exactly like the genre label suggests.
Weekend Nachos understand that; and boy, do they succeed. There’s plenty of urgency here, and moments that seem fast until everything moves up a gear. There’s breakdowns that countless other bands wish they had written, and the odd sludge-infused crawl that are often hit-and-miss in powerviolence, but works on this record. Tracks like No Idols & No Heroes feature punk rock shout-a-longs that will surely be crushing live, and Satan Sucker goes full-on death metal during the mid section. Some tracks feature all of this within a minute, such as the 57 seconds of You’re Not Punk. It’s a mix of the most extreme parts of punk and metal all turned up to 11, and it’s a glorious combination.
They also understand that this kind of thing can be real good fun, which is an idea often treated with disdain in extreme music. Sure, it’s hard not for punk played this fast and hard not to sweep the listener along in the musical equivalent of a sugar-rush, but there’s more than just goofy humour. S.C.A.B (Some Cops Are Bastards) is a sly play on an old punk statement, and is sure to piss off plenty of people. You’re Not Punk walks the line between mockery and a serious put-down, and the sentiments of said song are sure to apply to anyone who writes the band off on the basis of their name, merch, or whatever passes for gossip these days.
Even amongst the humour and fun though, there’s more than a hint of seriousness about the music and lyrics. Make no mistake, the playing on this album is tight, and the vocals urgent and strong. There’s plenty of evidence of strong song-writing skills, and the album is structured well so that it keeps flowing along without ever getting bogged down or turning into a blur, as can happen in this genre – a strong, clear production helps too, with every instrument clear in the mix. And at under 22 minutes long, it doesn’t over-stay its welcome – it’s pretty much the perfect length for an album like this to stay listenable and interesting.
Really, though, reviewing an album like this all goes back to the opening point. You can analyse the music or individual songs all day long if you wanted to, but that’s kind of missing the point, even if some of those songs are pretty fucking great. With an album like this, it’s all about getting carried along by the momentum and energy it creates as a whole, and enjoying it for its brief duration. In that regard, Still is a damn awesome record. These guys aren’t Full Of Hell or The Endless Blockade, supplementing their powerviolence with noise and making it even more nasty and artistic – unless the subtle piano on the title track counts? Instead, it’s powerviolence as the logical conclusion of punk rock. It’s about windmilling around your room, shouting the choruses at anyone who comes to check that you’re OK, and phoning your school/boss/whoever to tell them fuck you, I’m not coming in today, I’m too busy having a blast.
- Weekend Nachos are punk, but you are not. (cattlesong.wordpress.com)