Left For Dead - 1 | Review

Let’s get right to it; I’m infinitely excited that Left for Dead are making new music. I think a lot of people are. It’s their first actual release of new music since that split with Ochre back in ‘97 (the five tracks on that split are utterly vicious), and to be perfectly honest I didn’t know what to expect. I only heard two songs -- “1946” and “Digital Pigs”, the former being on the Schizophrenic Records comp called Defend Hamilton, Eat Shit.

There’s all this information on what comes with the 7”, how limited it is, et cetera, so I won’t go into detail about it. After all, it’s a review on the music, not an exposé on how big of a nerd I am for collecting records.

When you get right down to it, it’s hardcore at its finest and most primal. “Digital Pigs” is an absolute ripper of a track and a helluva way to open the 7”; loud, fast, and angry. I suppose there can be an argument made that it’s the same Left for Dead, as in, it sounds like they never split up and continued to release a steady stream of music. But they’re a lot older now than they were in ‘97, and that aging-like-fine-wine just heightens the sound that the group delivers. The redux of “Standing By” is absolutely incredible and sounds like a live take rather than a recorded version (hint: that’s a good thing). Previously mentioned “1946”, a song about Evelyn Dick, closes side A in brutalizing fashion. Side B is just as memorable, with “Cop Trap” firing off first. The 7” also contains a great cover of The Exploited’s “Rival Leaders”, a song that was most certainly influenced by Discharge. It fits right in with Left for Dead and the style of hardcore they play, whatever you want to call it.

At the end of the day, it’s a new album from a band people were unsure would make new music. It’s angry hardcore that doesn’t mince words and it most certainly doesn’t take the easy way out. With 1 (or Murder Contest 001), Left for Dead pushes themselves to create something that fits in with the rest of their discography. That’s not saying there’s nothing new here, either. There’s little pieces taken from every other band the members are/were involved in and those pieces were put together to create a hardcore album that is, well, blunt and to the point. It’s hardcore at its best; unflinching honesty and a tough-as-nails sound. You know what you’re getting: it’s Left for Dead.

Bill Haff 

Label info: www.a389records.com


Editor-in-Chief at Scratch the Surface, Bill Haff is a Philadelphia-based music critic who also contributes for Cvlt Nation, Metal Injection and Ghost Cult. You can follow him on Twitter at @bill_haff