Abacus: Your New Favorite Label

Abacus: Your New Favorite Label

Abacus: Your New Favorite Label

Various Artists

Abacus Recordings

It’s pretty cocky for upstart Abacus Recordings to call their latest compilation/sampler Your New Favorite Label. You’d have to be pretty confident of your roster to make a claim like that. Or, on the other hand, you could just be a bunch of cocky fools who don’t know what the hell you’re doing. The truth, as in most things, probably lies somewhere in between.

There’s no doubt that Abacus has recruited some fine talent to showcase here: Glass Casket contribute the two best tracks from their recent full length, Haste adds a couple from Mercury Lift and All Else Failed kick you in the ass with “To Whom It May Concern,” which sounds a little bit like the chaotic mood swings of Drowningman mixed with Poison the Well. Bleeding Kansas offer up raw, uneven metalcore in the vein of Converge and Botch, and Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn close out the disc with an epic death-metal number called “Numbing The Pain.”

The rest, particularly tracks seven through fifteen, isn’t quite as impressive. Burnthe8track do their best take on the emo-core genre, and although their songs are far from awful, they’re just not all that memorable. Meanwhile, Radiation 4 receive the grand jury award for most annoying vocal effect whilst trying to channel Mr. Bungle. The result is just downright bizarre. And then there’s DevilInside, The Abandoned Hearts Club, Narcissus, The Kiss of Death. None of them do much for me.

Although I can’t corroborate their claim to be my new favorite label, there’s no doubt that Abacus has assembled a pretty good roster to start things off. Even at their worst, almost every band here is still much more talented and original than the majority of the dreck that passes for “heavy rock” on MTV these days. But come on guys, whatever happened to modesty?

Abacus Recordings: www.abacusrecordings.com

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