Crackdown - _Rise Up_
(Diehard, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (6 out of 10)
"Never", the first track on _Rise Up_, is one of the best Biohazard songs written since the release of 1992's fan favorite _Urban Discipline_. A pity, then, that it was written by and appears on an album by Crackdown. However, since Evan Seinfeld sings lead vocals (yes, lead vocals) on this and two other tracks on this eleven (including bonus) track album, the similarity is less surprising and more acceptable, at least with regard to the vocals. Crackdown thankfully do not try to mimic Evan's vocal style throughout the course of the rest of the album and instead opt for the partially screamed style of My Own Victim or B.F! Musically, My Own Vicitm and Biohazard's respective styles are the ones most liberally referenced on _Rise Up_, with a small nod to Bloodlet's style on "Knife". Not much is new, although a well executed build-up of a repeated melodic vocal lines provides a brief break from the hardcore norm. So, for your money you get 38 minutes of mostly derivative but well produced and played hardcore. However, an added bonus must be the last official track, "Make a Change". Against a background of thick (but soft) bass, hip-hop compatible drumming and occasional jazz-derived guitar fills, it once more features Evan Seinfeld, but this time he blesses us with his attempts to rap. Through his usual infantile rhyming (e.g. "In your city or your town, these are the motherfuckers called Crackdown"), Evan tells the story of how he and Crackdown "hooked up". I can just see Evan bopping, gesturing and rapping this out: that image provides comedy worth an extra review point. As with all hardcore, live is where it matters and if the band can play, these songs will come out good -- as good as My Own Victim's do for example. However, if you're looking for hardcore's new innovators, you won't find them in Crackdown.

(article published 19/11/1998)


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