Thursday, June 23, 2011
Aus Rotten: The System Works For Them
Artist: Aus Rotten
Title: The System Works For Them
Label: Tribal War Records
The System Works For Them is Aus Rotten's first LP, but for reasons of alphabetization, is second to review. I've never played these two records back to back before, but I'm actually sort of surprised by some of the differences that are apparent between this and ...And Now Back To Our Programming. We're not talking about "are these by the same band?" level differences, but there's definitely some development that's taken place between the two.
In the last review, I called Aus Rotten "masters of their genre," but this record is more... well, generic. It's not that it's bad. If you're into crust, this is still a solid record. In fact, it's got a little bit heavier sound that I think comes largely from more distortion on the bass which actually makes it sound a little more "crusty." And there's no shortage of passion in the delivery in these songs about capitalism, religion, war, etc. So if crust is your thing, you probably still enjoy this record. On the whole though, the song writing here is much less developed than on the bands' second effort. The songs on The System Works for Them are simpler and much more repetitive. The influence of bands like Discharge and the Varukers comes to the fore in fast, metal-edged songs with only two or at most three parts, which are themselves more basic than the riffs on the band's second record. The vocal delivery is also rougher and has more of a barking feel to it that makes the lyrics a little harder to follow in places than on the band's second album (although still clearer than a lot of crust bands). It's not that this record displays incompetence, and I don't get bored with it necessarily, but I guess I understand better now why I listen to the other one more often. This record really has a first-album feel to it: good energy, but not as developed as it could be. While the second album, as I suggested, has moments of what might be described as creative over-reach, I appreciate the band trying to do more than they did here.
Like the other Aus Rotten record I reviewed, my copy of this one is also missing the cover/poster. In fact, it's missing everything. I don't even have a paper sleeve for this, it's just in one of those vinyl covers that people use to protect the outer jackets of records. Bare bones. It's too bad, but I'm not invested enough in this particular album that I would buy another copy just for the packaging.
Total songs listened: 260