Break / Let It Burn
much do producers influence a recording? Well, here are two bands
with only their New Jersey roots as a shared commonality standing
side-by-side on a 6-song split EP. The other common denominator
-- all six tracks were produced by Matt Squire, who worked on The
Explosion's Sick of Modern Art EP.
Okay, okay, The Explosion
had their rock-punk style long before Squire came along, so I gotta
believe that some of The Explosion rubbed off on him, and conversely,
has rubbed off on these two bands, at least on this recording.
The tip-off is the distinctive
guitar and drum sound, and the rock-as-punk arrangements that anyone
who digs The Explosion will quickly recognize.
In the end, however,
this ain't no Explosion. These bands' frontmen don't even come close
to Matt Hock's pissed-off presentation (although Burn's DJ Values
comes closest). That piss-off-edness also is missing from the lyrics.
The Break's songs are wordy and convoluted (and in the case of "Alone
With You," downright tired), while Let It Burn tends to keep
things simple, maybe too simple. Everyone struggles to make a point,
which was never a problem for The Explosion.
In the end, Let It Burn
wins in a comparison contest out of sheer exuberance and speed,
while The Break sounds like someone is trying to punk-up Pearl Jam.
What's missing from both is anger/concern/giving a shit about anything.
Because, let's face it, who really cares if DJ Values "believes
in love" and "the stars above," especially if those
stars are shining over the Hollywood Hills. Get pissed off, boys,
and you might give us something worth listening to.
Posted Sept. 23, 2003.
Copyright © 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
missing from both is anger/concern/giving a shit about anything.