LMI • Excess Subconscious LP

LMI – Excess Subconscious LP
9 songs
Handstand Records


This is LMI’s third LP (first two were CD only, but whatever) and I feel that this band is at a very intriguing point in the ark of where the band started and where they are now. This is a style of hard-core that has a crossover metal tinge with some surprisingly great upbeat hooks and LMI do a very good job of it. I feel as though they’re at a point where if they stay exactly where they are, with the slightly muddy production, great bass playing and dual vocals that they will add fans. However, if they decide to overextend themselves and get a little more technical and add clarity to the production, they might collapse from rising start to black hole. Lyrically, it’s the sort of angry poems that a kid would write in high school and the delivery is dependable. Here’s where I struggle, it’s a great record, there’s no doubt about that. However, compared to some of the other Handstand Records releases I’ve heard, and combined with the overall latest batch of stuff that I reviewed, there’s nothing about it that stands out. This is a very good record to put on while you’re doing stuff and it will definitely keep your heart rate up and moving through the day. If you’re trying to get your 10,000 steps in or you have to prep for a dinner party and you just need your chopping skills amped up a bit, then this is the record for you. Conversely, if you’re looking to sit down with something and read along and feel like you’re part of the experience, this doesn’t quite have me connected in that way. Some of the guitar lines are melodic and catchy for the style of music and for a power trio, it’s uniquely complex. Let me be clear, I’m not an expert on this but I do know what I like, and I think a very simple thing that could connect me to this are the lyrics. I like to sit down and read along with the record and with the vagueness of some of these, it’s hard for me to really find an attachment to the band. Musically, I think that they are great and if the singers could just maybe consider adding something personal about themselves, their day, or to be more precise, identify a theme of a song whether, specifically what you don’t like, what you do like, the way a tree looks in winter, a crush on Jessica Rabbit…I dunno. It’s that the constant anger and sorrow pushed off in vague ways with the standard adjectives isn’t quite grabbing me like it usually something like this would. I felt that somewhere along the way there wasn’t really that suffering and anger they are trying to express but moreover they are trying to stay within the sonic guardrails of the music is that they are making. Again, this is a great musically thoughtful record but could it have been more moving and captivating as an instrumental record for me, maybe. I like words and I appreciate when lyrics are authentic even if they are silly or hurtful or uncomfortable.

I do recommend you check this band out and decide for yourself. The musicianship is terrific and it’s entirely possible that I’m being overly critical considering I am well aware that overall lyrics in hardcore have become uninteresting and less evocative. (JD)

Pick up the LMI – Excess Subconscious, LP here!

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA

UNKNOWN RIVER DIRVER / RATIONS NOISE • split 12″ EP

UNKNOWN RIVER DRIVER / RATIONS NOISE • split 12” EP

86’d Records

URD:Rations Noise

Unknown River Driver sonically spin the control dials of the WayBack Machine, taking us back to 1991/92 with their mix of Jawbreaker (especially in the vocals) and Drive Like Jehu, but in place of love songs and who knows what exactly Drive Like Jehu were singing about, Unknown River Driver address the turmoil and politics of life, delivered in a poetic fashion and not with a bludgeon. The instrumental, “Song of the Cicada” stands out for its morose mood, but it’s the closer, “Misery & Liberty” which I like most, and it really sounds like a lost Drive Like Jehu track with the heavy drumming that gives more lift to the strong riffs. These five songs are an excellent introduction, and hopefully there’s more in the works. 

Rations Noise is just that. These five pieces are sound collages culled from live, practice, and studio recordings and reworked into sounds mostly unrecognizable. The purpose is to raise awareness, and hopefully inspire action in regards to the effects of the US using drones in war. It’s a grim and unsettling listen throughout, which I imagine is the intent. This could easily be a soundtrack for a documentary on the subject. It could be interesting to see if Rations continues to experiment with their sound in the future. Why not?  (MA)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA