Record of the Week: BOSTON STRANGLER Fire LP
Right out of the gate, Fire just feels like a more mature BOSTON STRANGLER. The difference seems to be that where Primitive was more of a genre exercise or homage to their Boston hardcore forefathers — albeit the best example I have ever heard (and a perfect record) — Fire shows “the STRANGLAH ‘finding’ their own sound.” Still present are the noticeably-Boston steamrolling riffs, but more “punk” influence has stepped up its role, mostly in the form of bass hooks, vocal melodies and guitar leads, which are most obvious on tracks like “Forward into Hell” and “Broken Spirit” and in the outro of “Slow Burn.” I can’t tell you how many times a day those choruses or leads pop into my head. The difference is definitely subtle, because this is very obviously the same frustration-spitting cobra backed by a sonic wrecking crew armed with the power of a major metropolitan DPW crew laying down the best cold-weather hardcore on the planet, making you feel just as bad about yourself as you do about the trash around you, with just as much misplaced youthful anger as real world adult problems staring you in the face. In my eyes, Fire is BOSTON STRANGLER’s best effort and a more singular record. Fantastic.
(Fun With Smack)