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Straight Line Stitch
The Barker
November 2001
Released: 2001, Independent
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman we go again. Here we have yet another entry of bruising primal metal in the school of Pissing Razors/Skinlab/Pantera et al. SLS are a new entry into the metal world, and come equipped with their 4-track offering, “The Barker” (huh?). I gotta admit, that for the most part, this is some good stuff, but right now, there is no sense of identity to these tunes.

The disc begins with “Birth Defect”, one of those groove-monsters that I’m such a sucker for. This song reminds me of the band The Fallen that both Rick and I have reviewed for MR. It’s heavy and catchy with gruff vocals, so I likes. “Absent” is up next and it is OK, but the vocals are too rappy and shouty to really draw me in. Still, you can here the quality in the riff work, especially in the breakdown that occurs around 2:14.

After these two songs are over though, I really lost interest in the disc. “NS2” and “20 MM Hotbox” are so similar to what has come before that they just don’t demand attention. With some more time and seasoning, SLS could be a force to be reckoned with, but right now, the machine still has a few bugs in the system.
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