Released: 2004, Victory Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
A18 fits the mold of the Southern California punk/hardcore band (is there any other kind?) to a tee. Straight-edge to the max, speedy riffs and pissed off barked vocals hardly make these guys stand out from the pack and unfortunately, DEAR FURIOUS, their second release on Victory Records is thoroughly unremarkable. Stripped down to a three-piece, A18 (formerly known as Amendment 18) seems to be going through the expected motions but what starts out as a decent CD quickly becomes boring, repetitive and is gone from memory quickly.
The air-raid siren opening of “The Massive” sets the stage for what should have been a furious assault on the senses. Aggression and hatred is spewed forth with almost animalistic fury. In typical hardcore fashion, the song ends after barely two minutes at which point “Fire In The Hole” steps in and continues the bitch-slapping. “Stab You Through The Everything” (cool title) is a repetitive chugga-chugga mid-tempo hardcore track that begins the landslide. From here on in, things become standard meathead hardcore fare. Even the appearance of Scott Vogel of Terror sharing vocals on “Beating A Dead Horse” can’t save the CD (not the oddly prophetic title?). One song barely differs from the next and the typical riffs, vocals and lyrics are trotted out of the mothballs for yet another go ‘round.
It is a shame that A18 resorted to the clichés of the genre. What began as a cool sounding CD ends up simply standard and formulaic. I had high hopes for DEAR FURIOUS but was quickly disappointed. Better luck next time.
KILLER KUTS: “The Massive,” “Fire In The Hole"