Life in a Burn Clinic
In our increasingly progressive metalscape, sometimes it takes the most unfresh of sounds to create the freshest modern ones. As evidenced by their Individual Rites debut, Life in a Burn Clinic (cool name) draw from a pool of influences • a mix of mid-’80s crossover (D.R.I., Excel, Dr. Know), prime Amebix (Arise!), and transitional Neurosis (Word as Law) • that are comparatively old-as-dirt and certifiably uncool. Not to say that LIABC are the most forward-thinking bunch, merely that they’ve wandered upon relatively barren territory, loosely defined as it is, where old-school thrash and old-school hardcore collide, harking back to a long-lost time when shorthairs played metal and longhairs played hardcore, but skewered with a modern sensibility that favors minimal-is-maximal songwriting and hints at experimentation. Patchy and erratic at times, but usually chaotically compelling, even during the record•s lesser moments • specifically, because such moments make the better ones that much more powerful and altogether more trainwrecked • the album finds the LA trio barreling along breathlessly at a thrashy clip, the whole rusty mess saturated with barely-in-tune riffs and sounding like the band’ll combust at song’s end, even during the sludgy, slowed-to-a-standstill lulls that intermittently crop up among the wreckage. One to grow on, for sure.