It’s often rather cool when you get band members doing something a bit different from their day job. Think about all those grizzled extreme metal heads who decide deep down that they just want to strip things back and rawk on out. There’s stacks of them about, in fact there’s not a week goes by here that we find at least one side project with something different going down be it members of thrash band Municipal Waste doing brutal death with Cannabis Corpse or ex members of Entombed, Nifelheim, Exhumed and Necrophobic gathering together to take us on a heavy metal ‘Black Trip’ (something you will be reading about here soon.) This time around though we got something a bit different yet again with members of USBM badger painted horde Averse Sefira donning high tops, check shirts and grabbing their skateboards and taking us back to the glory days of crossover thrash and boy do they do it well!
It’s only now that I go to review this that I realise the album came out over a year ago on Rusty Axe Records so I guess it’s getting a new lease of life via Metal Age Productions. Well worth it too as otherwise I may have missed this bomb of an album. 36 minutes and 18 songs (do the math) kind of shows you what sort of pace this goes at and the second you press play you should be up for getting slapped silly and cautious about causing injury as you look for anything in the vicinity of the stereo that you can use as a stage and launch yourself off of.
This is a heady riot of noise and if it’s not from the music or Jeff Tandys haranguing clean politically charged slacker vocals you are being barraged by police sirens, radio transmissions, explosions, guns going off and all the normal sounds of the hood which on first listen had me looking out the window wondering if homeboy had been capped! It’s a bounce around pogo of an album with songs like ‘Equal Opportunity’ merging thrash with punk sensibilities and ‘Failed State’ battered out at such a speed you wait for both the vocalist and drummer are going to trip over themselves but somehow they manage not to stumble. Video clip song and longest number Burn L.A. has a metallic sheen and aggressiveness about the guitars and combined with the hardcore gang shouts bridges a lot of styles and elements together making it a really potent slab of discontent.
The normal names are trotted out here in the PR blurb, spot on each of them and if you love your D.R.I. and S.O.D this is going to be right up your street. There’s a bit more to it than that though and I found this much more than a box ticking exercise noting everything else in the midst of this from Anarcho punks MDC, through to our own Subhumans, Stupids, Cro Mags, Black Flag and a whole host of others. Songs have a sense of humour about them but this is no beer guzzling, zombie goonfest its more about social and political issues We are snapped quickly through different scenarios from the circle jerk of ‘This Scene Sucks’ through to a 38 sec rage about vengeance ‘Violent Retribution’ and the pummelling fuck your greed of ‘I Blame You.’ All of it is up front and in your face and with a real authenticity reminding of the scene that spawned it. It’s impossible to choose a favourite number there’s no wasted space here at all. ‘Wrong Again’ is a classic and amusing ‘I’m in shit with the other half’ number with a brilliant melody that lodges in your head and ‘No Jobs (Don’t Work)’ fast rant as relevant today as it was back in 82, a time it sounds like it has been kicked straight out of.
At 36 minutes this album is really damn addictive and I have been more than happy to play it at least once a day since I first heard it. Others who have been subjected to it seemed equally blown away and for once wanted it all played rather than screaming at me to put something else on after a couple of songs. I always thought Averse Sefira were a solid but somewhat unremarkable band (enjoying their UK show) but hearing this I am not going to shed a single tear about their demise. I want more of this please and considering this is a year old hope I won’t be waiting that long for it to arrive!
(8.5/10 Pete Woods)