Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

The call of mediocre intrinsic value - 73%

Gutterscream, February 7th, 2007
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, No Wimp

“…lady born, the evil one, possessor of the homeless sons…”

There are a slew of ways to overlook a band like Intrinsic. The hurrah surrounding this five-piece is as anti-blood boiled as its name, but it’s not the first (or twentieth) time a band with a lackluster moniker has been left in the cold. No Wimp Records – it sounds about as sturdy and respected as a tree house, but the label apparently got its wares around with well-known Important distribution, so the flag of blame will probably be difficult to fly there. Their Morro Bay contact address automatically put them on an overpopulated raft in the Bay Area, and if you’re aware of that tidbit, you’ll have no problem deducing that they failed to avoid the Great Bay Area Glut of ‘88. Someone somewhere had to give ‘em a try, but don’t ask me who.

While nothing here mounts intensity’s fence, Intrinsic is just a tad less generic than some of their blander geographic mates, motoring along with welterweight thrashiness, a helping of speed, and a sliver of the progressive that is more demurely magnetic than Acrophet (whom of which can destroy these guys), brash moments of Atrophy, and arid Eviction (and none of which are Californian), but by no means sets the land on fire anywhere in the known heavens. Instead, they bind reservedly catchy rhythmic aptitude (drawn out “No Return”, traditionally carved “Ahead of the Game”, nominally aggressive instrumental “Compo”) and technical proficiency without trying to ensorcell the listener with every speck of music and produce a slab of average value. While you don’t need an ear-horn to get a bead on the band’s sufficiently accomplished prowess, it’s unfortunate the solos of Mike Mellinger and Ron Crawford ride like a Dodge Aries K on a lonely one-way street, igniting no special ire or interest during the tracks.

Vocalist Garrett Graupner (the guy on the far right) stands on the upper steps of normal tenor, mostly smooth and placid with a half-expected yelp or two lancing the stratosphere, though he shifts to a wilder gear for the more undomesticated duo of “Possessor” and “Hit the Streets”. The controlled yet briskly changeful architecture of “Leaving Insane” is the highlight, galvanized to deliver something more artful than its siblings and rattles the scant levels of prestige this lp boasts for at least five minutes of its mere half hour lifespan.

Low on introspection and identity, Intrinsic’s soft-serve, quasi-thrash lp could have been their exclusive offering to the underground and no one save some family members would’ve noticed, cared, or wondered what’s up next for the band. During a time and at a location when/where metal, good and bad, was stampeding all over itself to be released, this buckaroo ended up promptly squashed despite its not-quite-useless rank, which is nothing unanticipated. Oh well.