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Do you remember that kid from high school who suffered from delayed puberty? Well, that’s what Mark Osegueda sounds like on this album. Now, this may have worked fine on the first release due to its reliance on high-pitched shrieks, but it is an abysmal failure on here. The lyrics are so incredibly whiny that it sounds like a pouting 12-year-old is having a mild temper tantrum. “Knock! Knock! Excuse me please, but I’m sick of society:” the preceding quote is a perfect example of the passive-aggressive sassiness that plagues this CD.
The music reeks of terrible songwriting, as the riffs simply don’t flow together to make coherent songs. The tempo changes awkwardly as if the band simply wrote a bundle of riffs and pasted them together, then sung mismatching vocal lines over them. Sure there are an abundance of quality riffs and choruses, but they are not used to their full potential. It is a downright shame that Death Angel didn’t just decide to cash in by selling their riffs to another band with writers’ block that could actually utilize them to construct some great tracks.
The good in this album (the first two tracks) sounds as though they are leftovers from the debut. “3rd Floor” is excellent, and “Road Mutants” is above average. The lyrics aren’t the angsty, adolescent garbage that blights the remainder of this output, but a thrashing mad bedlam of insanity. Then the band start to pick up an alternative metal sort of a sound with “Why You Do This” and “Bored”, the former having the most irritating and obnoxious chorus I’ve yet to hear in thrash metal. It’s whining. It’s not just singing that sounds whiny; it is true, legitimate whining with audible tears in the back of the eyes. The atmosphere is foreshadowing of what would come years later with Korn.
The production is that of a glorified garage band, and there’s no technicality to keep much interest; most of this album is quite sloppy. The best thing “Frolic through the Park” has going for it is the KISS cover of “Cold Gin.” It’s not that they did anything to make it better; it’s just a good song to begin with and they didn’t screw it up. You’d be surprised how many bands couldn’t even handle that simple task, so I suppose this album has some extra value to it for that reason. I also enjoy the slightly overlong track “Confused” because I see so much potential in it, but they dragged it on a bit too much and sort of ruined things; it has the best riffs on the album, though.
This is not even a shadow of “The Ultra-Violence.” If you like thrash, you need to hear only the first two songs and maybe “Confused.” Don’t even bother with the KISS cover; you can just listen to the real song.