Monday, April 15, 2013

Left For Dead - Devoid Of Everything

Hey remember when all hardcore bands didn't sound the fucking same? Me neither.

Metallic hardcore band Left For Dead's recent compilation Devoid Of Everything at least feels honest. Perhaps it has to do with the late '90s-early '00s Toronto scene, but there's something on here that's missing from most recent hardcore: frustrated energy. These guys aren't just going through the motions to appeal to the hipster hardcore or straightedge crowd like popular acts Have Heart or Defeater. These guys sound legitimately pissed off. Glad to see that they've reformed.

Vocal interplay is the key to Left For Dead's success. Fast, traditional punk vocals overlaid with screams and guttural shouts not too far removed from Barney Greenway's style are all present on the compilation. Simplistic and memorable repeated lyrics like "you don't know shit", "sleep in the middle, die in the middle" or "as if you have a choice" are all as cynically fun to listen to as they sound. It's obviously not the actual content of these lyrics (let's be honest, they're pretty one-dimensional), but it's their delivery that keeps things interesting.

Musically everything is pretty prototypical and glossed over for the compilation. Crunchy power chords dominate the majority of the songwriting with some light feedback. D-beats and a bouncy, audible but forgettable bass lead the rhythm. The occasional sample crops up, but they're pretty uninteresting. The later tracks starting at "Eight Floors Above" are from Left For Dead's earlier material and naturally sound more raw and distorted. There's nothing remarkable about any of the instrumentation, but it's high-tempo and serves as a nice backdrop for the vocal interplay, which is where Left For Dead really shines.

A successful compilation that I definitely recommend if you've never listened to Left For Dead before.

7.5 out of 10

1. Six O'Clock (V1)
2. Pliant
3. Who Do You Know?
4. Skin Graft
5. Second Guess
6. Nice Place To Raise Children
7. Nothing There
8. Standing By
9. Kept In Line
10. Dirt
11. Didn't I
12. Left For Dead
13. Eight Floors Above
14. Pulling Teeth
15. Six O'Clock (V2)
16. Plant The Seed
17. Ripped Up


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