August 26, 2006

CD Review: Gat Rot - Us Versus Them

Hardcore and its relations have slowly been winning me over in the past year. I finally gave Hatebreed a good listen to, and that did a lot to win me over, plus albums from Bury Your Dead, Bludgeon, and Mower have all added to a growing liking for the hardcore genre and its surrounding blends. However, it is albums such as this that remind me why I was never big into the hardcore scene. To be fair, Gat Rot is not a pure hardcore act, there are elements of metal mixed in, edging them towards the metalcore genre, but it still fits.

Us Versus Them is just a dull album. There is nothing that challenges me, nothing that grabs me by the throat and forces me to listen. There is no reason to get excited. This is an album that when you turn it on for the first time, you almost have to force yourself to go all the way to the
end.

Gat Rot features two vocalists whose voices, at least to my ear, are very similar. I usually think the idea of having two singers is for two different sounds to blend, not here. Occasionally, they seem to get into screaming wars to see who can outdo the other, only to end in a stalemate each time. Everything else is just so terribly bland, straight up crunchy guitars, with the bass line doubling it, making it a little bit thicker, and backed by generic drumming.

I don't demand a lot from my music, and maybe I am being unnecessarily mean, but I got nothing from this release. Some of the songs paces slow to a crawl that would put an insomniac to sleep. While I don't have high demands, I do have some expectations of original sound, some idea that there was thought process behind what I am hearing. Again, this falls way short.

The one good thing to come out of this is that Us Versus Them works very well as some background music while you work on other projects. You don't need to pay attention to it, nor does it demand your attention. Turn it on, change your focus and let the non-functioning portions of your gray matter mull it over while the more important things get done.

Bottomline. Skip this and go check out Hatebreed's The Rise of Brutality. This one can remain on the shelf. Hardcore, as a genre, may have a standard definition, but it is possible to create worthy music within the confines, just as easily as you can create a dull bland release within the same area.

Not Recommended.
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