Mechanical, industrial-sounding beats start out the latest release from hardcore band Straight Faced. After seeing them perform a high-energy show a couple of months ago, I was eager to listen to this CD. Straight Faced offers up a collection of songs that are the usual hardcore stuff but with some twists. Vocals range from a creepy whisper to screams filled with pain and rage. Heavily distorted guitars play hooks that sound similar in every song but occasionally change with some neat effects. I liked the contrasting heavy and muted feel of track 7, "My Contempt." I think my favorite was the bonus track, "New Day." A couple of samples and some eerie, cosmic guitar effects break up the monotony of the fast-paced, in-your-face tone of this album. All in all, a good record that must be played loud to fully appreciate it.
Epitaph Records, 2789 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90026