Social Degeneration of Poets - _Martyrdom_
(Independent, 1998)
by: Adrian Bromley (7 out of 10)
The name of the band had me assuming this was gonna be some kind of a reckless bar band, out to play the numbers with mediocre musicianship and some bad harmonies. _Martyrdom_ is nowhere near the lame-ass attempts of what a shitty bar band would put down on record -- this band is the complete opposite of that. First off, Social Degeneration of Poets (SDP) play a really bad-ass bluesy rock/metal sound (throw in a bit of progressiveness) that has an easy flowing stride to it. The songs are strong and well-written and the music is memorable for the most part. Singer Shawn Shuart has a really powerful voice, easily parading himself throught the band's many styles. My only setbacks to the band is the rather poor production of some of the material and the guitar work that finds its way onto several tracks. Not all the guitar work needs help, just some of it. I'm thinking the production hampered it, as some songs (most notably "Kick Up the Soul" and "Prey") come across in top notch form. Little problems that can easily be deleted and/or fixed come album #2. A good indie band that'll hopefully have a future.

Contact: SOCIAL DEGENERATION, P.O. Box 10, Owosso, MI 48867, USA

(article published 10/3/1998)

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