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Never understood the re-re-recording thingy - 93%

morbert, October 6th, 2008

I always wondered what the story was behind this album. As far as I know the album was originally recorded with Mick Harris on drums, then re-recorded with Tony "Stick" Dickens and released on vinyl. And finally re-recorded once again with Mark Bailey on bass, to be released on CD. Now I’ve always wondered if each of these re-recordings were fully done or just the drums and later on the bass? Now I do have an old cassette somewhere with the vinyl version on it but I mostly play the CD and I will focus my review on that version.

In any case, all versions have Pete Hurley on guitar and vocals by Phil Vane and Dean Jones. And these three lads are the essence of the old E.N.T. Hurley’s guitar has a punk crunch sound here and isn’t as ‘heavy’ as it would be on the split LP with Filthkick nor the ’87-’90 Peel Session yet already brutal enough.

Now there are two things that have always annoyed me on this album. Firstly we have the added sampled intro to “Murder”. The song normally already starts with a spoken version of the first verse so this ‘extra’ intro is very obsolete. Secondly the added S.O.D.-riff to “ If Your Only in It for the Music”. I don’t know why E.N.T. disliked S.O.D. so much (in those days Sorethroat bashed them as well) but I always found it a bit pathetic if bands try to score or prove their ‘underground-ness’ by bashing other metal or punk musicians. By the way, the bass intro to “Bullshit Propaganda” should have been played bit better and because of this, there are better versions of this song around. So penalty points for those issues.

Apart from that, just a damn good album! It holds such classics like “Fucked Up System”, “Conned Through Life”, “Murder” and “Another Nail in the Coffin”. There are plenty of political subjects on which I firmly disagree with this band but I’ve always loved their strong message, energy and style. Never beating around the bush. The band sound as if they mean it and their strong image emphasises the already confronting music.

Calling E.N.T. (or crust in general) just noise would be stupidity since all their songs (save sloppy jokes like “Only in It for the Music”) do have verses and a chorus. If one gets to know these songs, they’re easily identified as songs. When discussing crustcore or even grindcore it’s catchy vocal lines and breaks which give the songs individual character since drums and pace are virtually the same on all songs. You just love it or hate it. I love it and E.N.T. put in just enough detail to make their compositions some of the best in the genre. And as said, their sound (especially the vocals!) and energy really made them rise from the masses.