Some bands would just fold it up with the loss of two key elements but Mongrel decided to go in a different direction. Add a new drummer and then take the leap of switching to a female lead singer and you have the next chapter in the group Mongrel. They also take the unique approach with the new members of re-recording songs from their debut album to try and show their fan base what the changes mean to them.
The first problem is that this does sound like an album from a few years back. The punk/metal era has seen better days and this rehash might have been more appealing if it had happened back in the day. Sure there were female fronted punkers but it still is enough of an anomaly that they might have drawn more attention.
The second problem is that this is lyrically one of the most depressing discs I have come across. You wonder how they make it out of bed with this anti-everything attitude. It goes well beyond angst when you are touting such sentiments as "Shut Up, Get Dead". Just listening to lead singer Jessica Sierra spout off on such subjects makes me think that I would want to check her purse before a date for weapons! The themes might be tongue-in-cheek (I hope) or just an act but either way she comes off as a vengeful, angry at the world woman who you would just assume not be around.
About the only time I can associate with their view is during the song "I Refuse". When she sings "I refuse to celebrate stupidity" it at least reflects something worthwhile to be pissed off at.
Musically this is some dynamite thrash/punk. The band knows how to bring it and I am sure that the creation of massive mosh pits is a staple at their concerts. The guitar work of Adam Savage is really the highlight as he not only provides the anger and heaviness he also flashes some mighty talented fingers with a multitude of very spot on solos throughout the disc.
The short of it is that this is a decent throwback disc that I am sure will find a home among the kind of person who sees the glass as perpetually half empty. I mean come on guys (and gal) lighten it up a bit. Life can't be this bad!!
1. West Memphis Hell
2. I Refuse
3. Shut Up, Get Dead
4. Bound to Crash
5. Houdini Act
6. The World Loves a Tragedy