It’s a common fear.
Everyone at some point has worried about losing their sight, sometimes in the most grotesque way (think of that sequence in Lucio Fulci’s ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’.)
So to see an album cover with a razor blade positioned precariously to someone’s eyeball…nasty stuff and (oh the irony) eye catching at the same time.
Taken by acclaimed photographer Daniel Shea, the black and white, slightly shaky photo is not only starkly realistic, but also comes across as a still from a modern Hiroshi Teshigahara movie.
From Denver, Colorado, Civilized have been together since 2011. This is their first release since 2014’s ‘Dust & Blood’ 7′, and their first LP release.
Barely 17 minutes long, it subjects the listener to a strand of US hardcore that may not be as nihilistic nor as metallic sounding in the way that most hardcore bands are these days, but it certainly stands up in terms of speed, aggression and frenzied vocals.
‘All the Same’ gives us a great sounding drum and bass intro which, coupled with the distorted recording, gives the feeling of listening to a badly degraded tape.
It sounds slightly off, but in a way that enhances the song. The riff is clean, straight ahead and oddly tuneful, setting the tone for the rest of the album.
Lyrically, the album’s narrator is one who is constantly under enormous pressure (“Hanging on by tooth and nail / Match is set, destined to fail…”) and seems to be conflicted on his emotions towards humanity (liars and parasites are directly dealt with, but lines like “I’ve lost all pity for the weak” and “Tie the noose, around your neck”).
It could be a case that the pressure has engulfed the narrator’s sense of right and wrong, leaving them a burnt out shell.
Or it could be that the lyrics actually reflect several differing points of view, cut together to create an unsettled narrator to match the hyper fast music.
Whatever the case, ‘Chopping Block’ will knock you for six. Out now on Youth Attack.
3.5 / 5 –Christopher Owens ::: 23/12/17