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Survival: No Grief

Considering that I reviewed a previous cassette (yes, cassette) from Survival at the tail end of 2015 and that this latest offering from Nick Noro's Bay Area outfit was released around the same time, one thing this lot don't do, is hang around. In fact there's actually been another release in between…

Recorded as Noro was going through an Assault With A Deadly Weapon felony trial, No Grief is viewed as 'a piece of raw, unfiltered expression'. The old name for that used to be art and viewed in that context No Grief is positively dripping with expressions of anger, frustration and the strength to overcome adversity. Unfortunately, what that doesn't guarantee, is that the results make for an engaging listening experience, or indeed one of sufficient aural quality that it's always possible to do so. With much of what Survival have to say muffled and fuzzy, the possibility to connect with the emotions poured so liberally into this offering is limited at best. Covering thrashy hardcore via electronics, garage and grunge, as with much art, there are few limits placed on what is, or is not, included. The feeling that you're pretty much listening to 30 minutes of unedited train of thought, prevalent throughout.

The tracks are linked by a hugely annoying metallic voice that finds ways to try and convey the specific emotion the forthcoming song covers and in ways the very fact that there's a need for the tone and emotion to be described in this manner goes a long way to illustrating that there's little difference in what you hear from song to song. The style and attack can vary wildly, but the ultra-angst blunts it all into samey sameness. In truth it's pretty hard to get through the whole thing in one sitting and one of the few albums I've reviewed over the years that I simply couldn't fight my way through to the minimum six listens before gathering my thoughts. I wouldn't be too shocked if Survival wear that as a badge of honour...

With a twist of humour and one suspects, a glimmer of hope, No Grief is available on bandcamp for the princely sum of $100 per digital copy. I'm not really sure what the joke, or indeed intention behind that is, especially when you consider the very same webpage allows you to hear it for free, but then again it's hard to know what the intention of No Grief is from start to finish, so why should that aspect be any different?

Track Listing
1. Stand Tall
2. Calibrator
3. Love On Smack (Witchfinder General)
4. Clergy
5. Final Departure
6. Flashcard Suicide
7. Agony Overthrown
8. Symphonic Grace
9 .Your House (sick ppl)
10. Smack
11. Living in America
12. Heartless Souls
13. Surface of the Sky, Detached

Added: May 21st 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Survival at bandcamp
Hits: 1348
Language: english

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