Run Devil Run – Sinking Deeper

Run Devil Run
Sinking Deeper

Well, this hardcore album by a group of misfits from various hardcore bands has ended up on my platter. It is a side project for these members, as described by the info sheet: they are all from various bands coming together to inflict havoc and speak to the memory of the Cro-Mags and Bad Brains…Or so it reads.

And maybe that is just the problem here. You can’t really hark back to those type of hardcore legends with any real sincerity without sounding like most indie-rock bands do trying to emmulate the Pixies. 99 percent of the time, it just doesn’t work – especially when the production and spacing of the album is downright ridiculous.

All the hardcore cliches are here on this album, and it just makes things that much more ridiculous. In fact, it is somewhat painful to listen to, especially if you are a Cro-Mags or Bad Brains fan. Here are my thoughts:

Thought 1: Why is there bass and drums on this album at all? Especially bass. There isn’t any. Pump up your stereo to full tilt on the bass-meter, and all you get is a whimper of low end. The drum production is so stereotypical and bland. You could throw out the whole rythm section all together on this album and you would hardly notice the difference.

Thought 2: Why must every other hardcore band these days resort to those silly chanting choruses? You know, where three or four guys chime in and heave at the top of their lungs: “Rise Above…Rise above the hate.” This chorus of voices blasting together sounds so silly when you take into account the posing and over-testosteroned melodrama of it all. There is a lot of this over-masculine, multi-vocal screaming here for no good reason at all.

Thought 3: Must every other hardcore band have its “anti-hate” song. This must be a real phobia in the hardcore world – that is that every hardcore band fears being mistaken for a throwback or reincarnation of the Gestapo Punk scene. Now, the cover of this album makes you wonder, with scenes of black males assaulting and beating white folk. I thought at first, “oh no, one of those hate bands.” Well, RDR makes it clear that hate is bad, as do 100 other hardcore bands. This is good because hate IS bad, but so is repetition and cliche.

Thought 4: Listen, I know you can’t really sing about love in a hardcore band with any sincerity – that wouldn’t be cool, but surely other bands have vocalized their political feelings with some sensible approach (see the “Exploited” circa 1982-1990). But, then maybe the Exploited weren’t really hardcore…Maybe they were post-punk/hardcore. Eho knows? The line certainly gets blurred. The problem here is that the songs talk about feeling screwed-over, dissed, and lost, but they never give you a true social context for the feeling. I mean, why do you feel this way? Of course, RDR don’t have to give us a reason; but let’s face it, songs about anger, getting screwed by the “man” and others are very played-out, especially with stupid bands like Korn and others over-fertilizing the land with there “I’m so different and estranged,” posing.

Certainly, Run Devil Run is no prize catch, no matter what the genre they fall in to. Still, they do beat the hell out of being forced to listen to Korn.

Thought 5: Maybe these guys are better live, or so I have heard. However, I recommend staying away from this release.