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So let’s quickly take stalk of the world: Syria is a smoldering shell of its former self, the United States is careening towards its most disastrous election in its history, the earth is not-so-slowly cooking us all, unless of course a police officer or lead in the water gets you first. And that’s just to start. In such dire times the world needs catharsis in the form of artistic expressions that are as dark, angry, and bleak as the world they see around them.
If ever there was a band that was the soundtrack to the apocalypse (and not the oh-no-an-asteroid-is-going-to-destroy-earth kind of apocalypse…I’m talking about the kind where humanity kills itself through 1000 selfish, near-sighted, and vindictive cuts that ensure our collective demise) it would be Haymaker. There isn’t another band out there that so readily and forcefully points to the shortcomings in the world in which we live as this gang of aging Hamiltonians hardcore mainstays. From start to finish, Taxed, Tracked, Inoculated, Enslaved points out just what a downward trajectory we are all on, but still maintains a pervasive anger that only comes from those who actually care enough to be sickened by what they see.
Early tracks like “The cancer you’ll defeat”, “Retina scan”, and “Expect the worst” help to show that despite having 15 years between LPs, this band hasn’t slowed down in the slightest. “Race to the bottom” and “Inherit pure shit” are album standouts that are both exemplary of the pessimistic tone of this record as well as the reinvigorated song writing abilities of the band.
While each of the 20 tracks of this record stand on their own as pissed-off anthems shouted into the face of a dying world, special mention needs to go out to a few of the album’s later tracks. Two of the best songs, that only get better the more you listen to them, are “Not my world” and “Toronto moves in”. On top of those, Haymaker adds a brand new level of intensity to the oft-covered “Nazi Punks (fuck off)” that would likely make even the most prudish Dead Kennedy’s fan take notice.
There are still a few months left in the year, but this album easily enters into the realm of “Album of the Year” territory.
Go get this record so at least you have some good tunes to listen to while the world burns.