Much like labelmates Snapcase improved exponentially from Lookinglasself to Progression Through Unlearning, Buried Alive were already formidably fierce on their The Death of Your Perfect World debut, and now stand poised to become the new reigning kings of straight-up hardcore with Last Rites, their sophomore offering. At nine songs in roughly 21 minutes, Last Rites finds the quartet sharpening their pit-ready style into a certain compactness of design, wasting nary a breath, beat, high-kick, nor chord: short, sure, but a full song•s worth of overbrimming anger and energy get mashed into the requisite two-minute blast boundaries. Thing is, for as full-on as their first album was, Buried Alive•s latest one sees them getting trickier and more streamlined simultaneously, rendering guitarist Matt Robert•s subtle mindfucks all the more tasty thanks to a semi-swampy/curiously reverbed guitar sound (courtesy of four different producers, oddly enough). And as a generous bonus, five live tracks from their •presentation• at last year•s CMJ schmooze-fest get tacked onto the end of the album • speaker-blown like those old Black Flag live records and kinda out of tune, but raucous nonetheless. A vital young band, and harrowingly hungry for more.
Victory, PO Box 146546, Chicago, IL 60614; http://www.victoryrecords.com