Wednesday, November 24, 2010
D.I.S.-Critical Failure (2010)
This has been a very crusty year for me. The inclusion of Black Breath, Converge, Tragedy, Early Graves and D.I.S. to my lexicon of musical nerdery has stoked the flames of my decades-long mania for the purest and most beautiful convention of punk and metal alike: the hallowed D-beat. Anybody who is familiar with me as a person will probably be well-aware of my frantic, insatiable desire for more D-beat; indeed, it could be empirically proven that I suffer from what top scientists have lovingly christened the "D-boner." As such, I've been getting back into hardcore, the musical genre that I surreptitiously combed World Records for in my adolescence. D.I.S. embody everything I currently and formerly adored about hardcore. They straddle the line between the punk version of hardcore with vocals that harken back to Agnostic Front and F-Minus (also known as the clean-scream, the shout, or I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Mongo-Vocals), and the metal version of hardcore that features detuned guitars, double bass hurricanes and sweet, shreddy soloing.
D.I.S. came to my attention in an UpFront feature in Decibel Magazine earlier this year, and the columnist for my most revered publication used all the right words to describe the band to get my D-boner throbbing and begging for the touch of that sweet thundering drum pattern. Early searches for the band to find some kind of myspace or stream so I could stroke my D-boner proved fruitless; such a non-descript name makes it hard to find information on Interwebbies, particularly if you're like me and give up immediately if what you're looking for doesn't pop up in the first five items in a Google search. This didn't stop me, though (yes it did). About a month later I was having a sweatlodge session in San Antonio and was handed off a copy of the new D.I.S. album, sending my heat-addled brain into a frenzy and causing me to pitch an immediate D-tent. Thankfully, the music didn't disappoint, and my freshly renewed mania for hardcore were allowed to continue unimpeded.
In my favorite manner, Critical Failure wages war upon the senses and thunders through ten tracks of splendidly furious hardcore. D.I.S. tend toward a punk rock style of riff, heavy on the power chord and light on melody. The thick, thunderous din of Critical Failure would best be described by citing a heavier version of Disfear without the shredded-throat ruckus of Tomas Lindberg, or Tragedy without the meandering song structures. If this record had come out when I was a depressive, mopey high-schooler, I would have eaten in up, and would almost certainly end up with a regrettable and ill-advised D.I.S. tattoo on my face. Thankfully I discovered it as an adult, where the worst I can do is have dreams about the band that creep me out in waking and then keep to myself and ponder what it means to dream of being in a sleeping bag with five crusty heshers.
Now I have to go have a fully-clothed cry in the shower.