The Banner - _Frailty_
(Ferret Music, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
If Joey Southside is a true representation of the moxy possessed by the population of New Jersey, then God bless 'em. Rarely has an album birthed of bold claims ended up delivering in such ample volumes. Promising to strip away the guff that prevented their Ferret debut, _Every Breath Haunted_, from being the breakout release it could have been, _Frailty_ finds The Banner in mean spirits. After dispensing with the psychotic blues intro of "Welcome Fuckers", first track proper "The Wolf" lets us know in no uncertain terms what we're in for: a hardcore bombardment cased in concrete shell of punk and metal riffing at its most belligerent. The formula may sound familiar enough, but The Banner don't succumb to schmaltzy choruses or melodic posturing. Instead, they distil every ounce of aggression present within the confines of their musical palette and let rip at full pelt from start to finish. It helps that Will Putney's production is organic enough to leave each of the record's tunes bordering on live, thereby infusing tracks like "On Hooks" and "I Am Legion" with grit enough to peel the skin off your face. But such is the quality of practically every track on offer here, that such details are almost merely a cosmetic afterthought in the grand scheme of things. Thoroughly scintillating stuff indeed.


(article published 9/8/2008)

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