The first quarter of 1347ad makes Slumlord Philadelphia out to be a post-hardcore band with Fugazi leanings slapped atop heavy metal riffage. Tricky finger work by their bassist and guitarist on “Cara Quemada” and “Underbite” give the otherwise by-the-book hardcore vocal screams an added flourish that bands of this genre usually don’t ever manage to find. Had the album stopped after the fifth song, I could call this release a promising EP. Not brilliant, not great, but still worth a spin.
Sadly the track numbers continue on, and at the center mark we find the song “Avalanche.” It’s here that these guys reveal their prog rock tendencies. Guitar solos, break downs that drag on and on, and four minutes of musical masturbation ensues. The album fails to recover, trudging on for another six songs of the same old thing. An oddly chosen cover of Bill Withers’ soulful “Use Me,” sung with all the heart a hardcore vocalist can muster, is an admirable attempt at interesting — especially when followed up by a minute long blowout with the drums and guitar duking it out (“Eviscerate the DJ”) — but it’s still not enough to make 1347ad anything more than another hardcore/metal marriage doomed for mediocrity.
Slumlord Philadelphia: www.slumlordphiladelphia.com