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Stronger in smaller doses - 85%

Gutterscream, May 8th, 2010
Written based on this version: 1988, Cassette, Independent

Okay, while the band’s debut, Product of Society, wasn’t quite the metal mountain many of us were hoping to climb, the band truthfully wasn’t short on potential. They could write a decent string of riffs and sometimes knew what intensity was when they eventually tripped over it, and while they often over-Testamentized, they weren’t the thing of daymares. Sometimes a band is just as good as its best three or four songs while clunkers of lesser strength dilute the mixture’s overall potency, and I think that’s the deal with Defiance.

This particular version of the demo omits final track “Deadly Intentions” and leaves “Missing in Action” to play anchor, one that would get stuck in the cluttered seabed, never to gurgle for anyone again. It’s a compelling track with enough hook appeal to overturn duller boats like “The Fault”, “Death Machine”, and “Lock Jaw” from the debut, but like so many, it lies in its watery grave with crabs crawling out of its eye sockets. However, “Product of Society” and “Hypothermia” are two of the more heavily-sailed songs on the debut, structurally unchanged and blown by the unstoppably popular winds of the bay area, and compared to the debut, the production is more an affair of muted fidelity, but you get used to it.

Admittedly, it is a sturdy, strapping demo that warranted label notice. However, the additional sails on Product of Society had some holes in ‘em.