Released: 2000, Spoth Records
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
Oh man, is this a godsend or what!?!? Hell fucking yes! I have no doubt most people have never heard of this band. In case you missed my review of their one and only album It’s Hard to Write with a Little Hand, Lethargy were a technical grind band from Rochester, New York. A bit reminiscent of Human Remains, but even more technical in terms of guitar and bass playing, drumming, and overall song composition. They carry grind to the highest level of musicianship I’ve ever heard. Their complexity and originality cannot be matched! With grind you can expect certain qualities, like screaming vocals, speed, and anger. Lethargy contains these elements, but they mix so many other elements into the music such as constantly shifting tempos, jaw-dropping precision and timing, strangely acrobatic riffing, a bit of humor, lots of melodies and harmonies, jazz elements, and even some happy guitar parts now and then touching on rock. Lethargy started out back in 1993 and released a few demos before releasing their one and only album It’s Hard to Write with a Little Hand. Aside from that, they appeared on a couple compilations and a split 7” record. And before calling it quits, they wrote three songs at the end of 1999, which went unreleased…until now!
Discography ’93-’99 is exactly that…a compilation of every Lethargy recording! This is a double-CD set containing every song from their 1993 “Lost in this Existence” demo, the 1994 “Tainted” demo, the 1995 “Red Tape” demo, their contributions to the 1994 Lethargy/Big Hair split 7” and 1998 Watchmen Studios compilations, all songs from the It’s Hard to Write with a Little Hand album (long out of print), and finally the three newer songs recorded at the end of 1999! All of the material on these two CDs is pretty similar. Lethargy found their unique style back in 1994 and carried it through until the end. Only the “Lost in this Existence” demo sounds different…just a primitive, more death metal version of the Lethargy of today. Some of the songs off the demos made their way onto the …Little Hand album, but there’s a wealth of material that is being heard here for the first time! The …Little Hand tracks themselves have been remixed with new vocals, although for the most part they sound almost exactly like the original album. In addition, the samples in these tracks have been touched up to sound a bit different. One really interesting track is the one taken from the split 7”…it’s an “unplugged” version of the song “Lost”. Remember “Futile Bread Machine” off of Meshuggah’s True Human Design EP? Well it’s similar to that, except instead of being country, “Lost” sound like a cross between metal and 50’s/60’s cop-and-robber movie music. The guitar sound brings to mind the “Secret Song” off Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante. Nice singing vocals too!
As I mentioned, Discography ’93-’99 is a double CD set. There are a total of 32 tracks, bringing the total running time to 133 minutes!!! If you like extreme, challenging, technical music, you must at least hear these guys! Visit mp3.com, search for Lethargy, download the songs, and listen!! If you like what you hear, bust your ass over to the Spoth Records site at members.fortunecity.com/spoth666 They sell this set for only $12 postage paid in the US (and it’s not much more additional for those of you living outside the US)! Twelve bucks for 32 tracks is the greatest deal! And check out this Lethargy site for additional information: http://www.geocities.com/lethargymetal
Without a doubt, this release has become my personal favorite release of the year 2000!