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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

W.A.S.T.E. - "Liquor, Drugs, and Hate"

Artist: W.A.S.T.E.
Album: Liquor, Drugs, and Hate
Year: 2011
Label: Vendetta
Genre: Power Noise
Website: www.VendettaMusic.com

this album on discogs: here



Power Noise has really faded away in recent years, leaving only shitty derivatives (TBM, ugh) in its wake. If you're like me and love the style, than you've no doubt realized how rare it is to find a good new release from the genre. Thankfully, WASTE is one act that is still carrying the torch of true power noise. If you know WASTE than you will have a good idea of what to expect from their most recent album "Liquor, Drugs, and Hate". WASTE makes straight-up-no-frills powerful, harsh power noise. WASTE is actually one of the more abrasive acts (thankfully they continue this - most acts seem to go soft as they age) as they pile on layer after later of noise and crunchiness.

Good stuff:
+ The album starts off with a brief, but fitting, dark spoken sample before getting right to business and beginning the pummeling. One thing that I really like about WASTE is their straight forward, incredibly mechanical crushing sound. This is the perfect music for being angry and violent, and it's got a great industrial feel to it. "Liquor, Drugs, and Hate" pretty much just beats you senseless for it's entire 11 track duration, seldom amping down (volume wise, or other) to give you a breather. The good thing about WASTE is that they noticeable put effort into their compositions and, despite the fact that everything is distorted and compressed to shit, there is still a good amount of things happening in each track -- with as much variety from track to track as is possible with this style. I remember getting "This is What We Seek" in 2006 and it's great to see these guys evolve and become much better producers and song writers. WASTE does a good job of balancing dance-ability, harshness, and variety which are the main things I look for in good power noise.
+ 'Steel Toed Rampage' just might be the heaviest song EVER and is an absolute must have for any power noise fan.
+ One of the things that I really like about power noise is the ability of the good artists (imminent starvation, mono no aware, etc) to do more than one style of track. With tracks like "Sometimes You Don't Come Back", "Butcher Knife" and "Part 1 of Some Shit to Come", WASTE show that they are also able to utilize dark atmospherics and toned down percussion quite well.
+ The Synapscape remix kicks ass! I really enjoy their added distorted vocals.

Bad stuff:
- Some of the stuff on this album feels rushed, namely the slower tracks like "Sometimes You Don't Come Back". These tracks have great elements in them, but they are overly repetitive and I feel that they could have been fleshed out further; full songs instead of linear interludes.
- The other three remixes are pretty bland, overly repetitive, and I skip them every time. The Doomer mix is the most interesting, however 'Omega 3' is one of my favorite power noise tracks ever, so it's damn near impossible to top the original.
- While the production is solid for the style, the album is reaaaaally limited/compressed, resulting in a very squashed feel. It's not quite as bad as the recent Organic Cage from Vendetta (most horribly squashed release ever), but it's still beyond noticeable. On the one hand, this is less of an issue with harsh power noise as it gives it something of an added intensity, but it undoubtedly gets abrasive and fatiguing on the ears, especially during the slower tracks which are supposed to be less intense and don't need to be peaking constantly.
- Album is definitely too short. 

Aside from some of the remixes, this is pretty much a must own for any true fan of power noise. Put this album on and kill.

Also, this stuff translates really well in a live/club environment, so if you get the chance to see these guys definitely do!

Overall Rating: 8/10

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