Released: 2009, HPGD Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Lethal Aggression was part of the early metal/hardcore crossover scene of the late 80s, taking inspirational cues from the hardcore and thrash bands of the day. Fueled by alcohol, narcotics, and just plain anger at the world, the band released a couple of EPs and one full length, LIFE IS HARD - BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE, before calling it a day in ’91. Vocalist Saltz resurrected a new version of Lethal Aggression in 2001, but 2009’s AD NAUSEUM is the first release from the band since regrouping and only the second full length in the band’s sparse catalogue. But the downtime hasn’t softened the band’s nihilistic outlook on the world. AD NAUSEUM is angry, mean, and 100% unapologetic.
AD NAUSEUM picks up where things left off over a decade ago, combining menacing riffs played at full speed with lyrical vehemence directed at a greedy, corrupted society. Musically, the album is relentless. A definite throwback to the aforementioned crossover scene, the songs ride a fine line between the blazing punishment of early thrash riffage and the pummelling crush of the NYHC scene. As politically incorrect as you’d expect, AD NAUSEUM explores such topics as promiscuity (“Myspace Slut”), diminished freedoms (“Free is a 4 Letter Word”), corporate influence (“Corporoganda”), and just plain violence (“Drunk with Murder”). “Circle Pit of Life” is my personal favorite on the disc, paying homage to days long since past when good times were loud music and a pit full of friends. As an extra treat, the disc features a full 36-minute live set as a hidden bonus track. Recorded in 2003 at the legendary CBGB’s, the band excels in the live setting belting out their classic tunes.
Lethal Aggression isn’t for the faint of heart and I’ll admit that it took a few spins to warm up to AD NAUSEUM. Maybe it was the need to reconnect with a sound that I’d written off as being outdated or maybe it was just that it’s been a long time since I’d heard a band so unabashedly pissed off. Either way, once it sunk in, AD NAUSEUM has proven to be a pretty good listen. If early Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I., Carnivore, Cro-Mags, or mid-80s Agnostic front are a part of your musical vocabulary, Lethal Aggression should be a comfortable addition.