Music Reviews

Punishment

Where Love is Dead and Hope Never Lived

Too Damn Hype

Uh Oh! Look out! It’s the return of the “Jud Jud EEEEEE!” breakdown! Run for cover!

I’m not really sure why Punishment bother with cheesy New York Hardcore breakdowns, because they don’t really need to. When they’re rockin’ away on their monstrous metal riffs, there’s no question as to who the boss is. When these guys feel like rockin’, they do it, with TRUE authority. The only problem is, they’re prone to these weird stops in the middle of their songs, sometimes filled with weird guitar noodles, other times filled with Biohazard-style NYHC breakdowns.

On Where Love…, things aren’t too different. When they’re “jud jud-ing,” things are great. The songs grind by with tenacious brutality and completely destroy the listener. When they’re throwing blast beats, things couldn’t be better. When the vocalist is growling at me in a manner similar to Man is the Bastard’s lead growler, things are all sunshine and butterflies. When the mid-tempo drums are pounding my face into a bloody pulp, I’m all smiles. The problems arrive when they try to get fancy, ala later-era Coalesce.

These guys shouldn’t bother with time changes and fancy noodlings. There are few metal bands that can pull off the fancy time changes, Botch being about the best of the bunch. Punishment can’t. I also can’t stand their slow and plodding, anthemic song intros. Give me a break! It’s totally like a fanfare or something! I kept expecting to see some muscular Nordic warrior come strolling through my door during the evil “ju, ju, ju, jud, jud, jud, do, do, doodle-dee, jud…” intro track three, “Snake Eyes.” It’s just so overdone!

My advice is that these guys quit trying to be fancy. Motorhead never worried about that crap, and neither should Punishment. You’re a metal band, and a really, really good one… brutal and tough as hell. Just rock guys! Please!

P.S.: There’s a sweet picture of bloody brass knuckles on the back of the record, so it’s worth buying just for that! 100% recommended!

Chord Recordings: http://www.chordrecordings.com


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