Friday, January 25, 2008

Top Ten of 2007: 108 - A New Beat from a Dead Heart

the hardcore reunion seems to have become in vogue as of late. i'm not going to back up that claim with anything other than the recent Suicide File reunion that took place in Chicago. from the slew of youtube footage it does seem like a rather sincere event, but one has to question how effective or ethical a reunion for a hardcore band is. i mean, in its premature stages wasn't hardcore all about constantly pushing ahead? i'm not saying i wouldn't have loved to seen The Suicide File play some of their hits from the classic 'Twilight', but that reach for nostalgia in my opinion is sort of elevating the band to a status of being above their fans in some way which kind of attacks the one sacred thing i ask for in all of music, emotional expression. oh well, at least we know a band like 108 isn't pretending in the slight as we can tell by their first reunited release 'A New Beat from a Dead Heart'.
i'm guessing if you've ever read a review of 108 it mentions their religion, how they were an anomaly (i keep using that fucking word) in hardcore because of their eastern religious beliefs, something to that effect. i guess that is important, i mean when i saw them late last year they were burning incense and playing the typical drone chants that have come to define 'indian' music. in all honesty thought, i don't really give a shit about this groups religious beliefs. they could be declaring for the prosecution of all jews and if they played as intense and well composed music as they do on 'A New Beat from a Dead Heart', i'd still be down with the record. obviously, the time and signing to Deathwish has provoked a more modern take on their sound. tracks like 'Three Hundred Liars' and 'Martyr Complex' evoke a sound that is based in old 108, but with an obvious Converge/Ballou influence behind the guitars. mark that to the fact that Kurt produced the album, and while it is apparent upon first listen it isn't really distracting. basically this is a hardcore group that originally flirted with metal and now has seemingly fallen in love with that genre of music. a welcome change and a passionate record that i wasn't exactly expecting from a group that had been gone from the scene for so long.
108's 'A New Beat from a Dead Heart'
while in the view of last year, 'A New Beat from a Dead Heart' is clearly a top ten record, in 108's own discography it certainly is not the highlight. a New York band that was obviously one of the strongest impacts on the mid-90s hardcore sound 108 has a fabulous string of albums from 'Songs of Separation' to 'Threefold Misery' all under produced gems of religious exploration in the field of aggressive music. an extremely unique take on an otherwise agnostic sound.

108 - 'a new beat from a dead heart'

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