Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Antiproduct: The Deafening Silence of Grinding Gears

Review # 10
Artist: Anti-Product
Title: The Deafening Silence of Grinding Gears
Format: LP
Label: Tribal War Records
Year: 1999
Songs: 8

To begin with, I want to make it clear that this is a record by the American crust band Anti-Product, not the English glam punk band AntiProduct, who do something entirely different and which I don't particularly care for. The next several reviews will deal with hardcore punk type bands, as a lot of such bands have names that start with "A" (go figure).

The Deafening Silence of Grinding Gears is a good, solid crust punk record.  Not the most inventive ever, but not overly repetitious and always smart and heartfelt.  Alternating male and female lead vocals that sometimes sing and sometimes shout create a dynamic sound that holds your interest. A crunchy (but not distored beyond recognition) guitar plays metal-influenced punk riffs, while the drums manage to avoid excessive reliance on same two beats that characterize much of genre, and bass does more than just follow the guitar. Good, competent crust. I would compare this to Nausea, but little less metal influenced.

The record comes packaged with a hefty lyrics book that, in 1990s-crust style, includes not only the lyrics to all the songs, but also an opening statement and a paragraph about each song explaining its topic and signicance. These songs draw straight, clear lines between imperialism, racism, industrialism, sexism, environmental degradation, and our lives and choices. There is a smart reclamation of term "feminism" in "Modern Day F* Word," and a comparison drawn between colonialism and and an unquestioning belief in scientific progress in "It Festers in Their Hearts." These are topics that often lend themselve to finger-pointing (not that there isn't a time and place for that...) but Anti-Product goes a step beyond the standard "those guys are bad, let's resist them" and examines also the struggles of people (i.e. themselves) trying to overcome internalized assumptions and prejudices, which does much to humanize this band and make the record feel more personal than one made up entirely of songs that exclusively criticize other people or simply "the system."

In short: a good crust record, if that's your thing, thoughtful lyrics, but probably not that appealing to most folks who don't care for the genre.

Listen to "It Festers In Their Hearts."

Total songs listened: 122

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