Now Here Fast!
Released: 2004, Triple Crown Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
Hardcore for the hardcore, wayward metal-punks inspired by the virtual history lesson that was Coliseum’s self-titled debut, or diehard newbie thrashers who discovered Agnostic Front only this year after they signed with Nuclear Blast, will dampen the moshpit with their spittle over this release. This is what hardcore was meant to sound like.
While this may have been unremarkable in the eighties or nineties, what with bands like Sick Of It All and Skarhead still bustin’ caps and bustin’ heads, these days it would seem such raw force is all but missing from the scene, with not but a handful of Death Metal and Screamo bands dressed up like Straight Edge posers, deafening the Ozzfest pits with off-key snarls and whines. Gladly, there is none of that to be had here: an Emo kid would sharply get his ass kicked in a Death Threat pit. In fact, this may be the most lethal Hardcore CD this reviewer has encountered since Bury Your Dead; and it is certainly the most honest audio knuckle-duster since the aforementioned Coliseum (which you should really own, if you don’t already).
The record starts like any Cro-Mags or Agnostic Front record of the eighties would have, with “All Hell Breaks Loose” musically referencing Sick Of It All, but with a grizzled sort of vitriol that even those beloved slam-punk merchants have had difficulty squeezing from their addled veins these days. “Dead Last” was written for the pit, and could have been written by any number of New York-scene hardcore hipsters in the 80’s. In fact, it’s actually a bit better—if memory serves, neither Murphy’s Law nor Reagan Youth ever played their instruments quite so well.
Track #4, “Live Fast, Die Young” is straight up old school, with a catchy breakdown reminiscent of the mid-nineties revival period (Madball, Skarhead, Biohazard, etc…). Tracks like “Hard To Find” and “High For Now” are positively vicious in a way much modern Metalcore will never be—it makes most of that limp-wristed jazz-prick Dillinger Escape Plan/Burnt By The Sun business sound positively impotent, and the furthest thing from Hardcore in its truest form.
Long-time scensters will remember the controversial Blood From The Soul project, which featured Sick Of It All and Napalm Death members. Imagine something that heavy (tracks like “Get Over It” make that pretty effortless), but fast, and with an avowed love of all things Fear. More beer, indeed.
This might seem like a glowing review for a remarkable simple release—and admittedly, there is nothing overtly complicated about Now Here Fast!—but that is what makes it so positively primal and essential. Nothing sounds like this anymore. The Old Guard is, simply put, too old for this shit. And Death Threat has come bearing a stretcher, and clean pair of combat boots…and an unsettling sort of predatory smile.