For Fans Of
‘Urban Decay’ showcases some blistering hardcore punk, with most songs ending so quickly you barely even get a chance to really get into it. While the instrumentation is sound, the vocals are what really tarnish this record. Rather than sounding confronting or aggressive like the music, they mostly just annoy, coming off as whiny more than anything. Still, Crisis Alert certainly deserve praise for their authenticity.
Crisis Alert plays a style of early 80s-inspired hardcore punk a la Minor Threat, Black Flag etc. Almost all 16 tracks clock in at under a minute long. The music is raw and devoid of any breakdowns, and not a single riff sounds like it’s been ripped off of Metallica.
However, the sound quality is also pretty sub-par which, whether intentionally or not, actually lends a degree of legitimacy rather than diminishing the experience. ‘Urban Decay’ is a prime example of staying true to your roots, if nothing else.
The edgy, unrefined vocal style compliments the music appropriately at times but for the most part lacks any impact or aggression. It’s an acquired taste, much like the genre as a whole, but in this case the vocals quite literally fall flat. They break so often they should be covered under warranty. The lyrics however, are biting and confrontational, almost redeeming the vocals. Almost.
This is an album for the purists. If you’re really passionate about hardcore’s roots then you’re bound to appreciate ‘Urban Decay’. But if you’re more invested in modern iterations of punk this release will probably go straight over your head. The genre has come a long, long way since the 80s and not everyone will be all too thrilled about the concept of reviving that era.
Perhaps the most commendable aspect of ‘Urban Decay’ is how perfectly the band has captured the sound of early hardcore punk. Many people will be overjoyed at the prospect of this record, while for others it will surely be lost on them. Either way, as a throwback to the inception of the genre it certainly succeeds. Sure, the songs all sound almost exactly alike and the vocalist isn’t too good, but that’s not what punk is about. Besides, that never stopped AC/DC from being successful.
3. Brain Dead
4. Get Away
5. Motion Sickness
6. Heart Attack
7. Burnt Out
9. Urban Decay
11. Sick to Death
12. I Don’t Care
14. Out of Control