Released before the world witnessed the political change and proposed chaos of a departing leader the other side of the pond, the Crush The Machine 7” is a ferocious statement and attack on not only the obvious target but political systems and perpetrators the world over. It is an uncompromising infestation of old schooled bred hardcore from a host of renowned ear gripping musicians going by the name of D.E.A. (Dead End America), four tracks of searing punk rock which makes you pay attention.
The record is also a must for hearing the last creative craft and dexterity of producer and Poison Idea drummer Steve “Thee Slayer Hippy” Hanford who sadly died before completion of Crush The Machine. The collaboration and release came about when Hanford invited guitarist Tony Avila to record at his place. Though that did not come about, the pair agreed on a COVID project inspired by a “Poison Idea mixed with The Accused” idea. Over time as it came together, guitarist Ian Watts, bassist Nick “Rex Everything” Oliveri (Mondo Generator), vocalist Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod) and Blaine Cook (Fartz/The Accused) became involved. Sadly the death of Hanford came within that journey for D.E.A., before the record was finished, and obviously stalled things but the project subsequently continued and Crush The Machine emerged, a fitting homage and testament to the craft and rousing invention of its deeply missed instigator.
The A-side opens with Dead White Hands, an opening sample swiftly followed by a senses prowling wall of riffs and rhythms, a trespass sizing up its victim before burrowing into the psyche and launching a hellacious enmity upon the listener. With vocals provided by Hanford and Oliveri, the former providing the lyrical confrontation with Sam Redding, the track is a corrosion of spite and ferocity, and crushingly irresistible.
Twitter Troll follows with Oliveri vocalist and lyricist to the equally violent but effortlessly contagious infestation. Hooks pierce and riffs burrow as rhythms bludgeon, a Dead Kennedy-esque catchiness lining its animosity and discontent, both emotions as unbridled as the creative fertility fuelling the track’s ravenous magnetism.
The B-side is graced by Bullet for 45 (Straight from a .45) and Searching For A Reason. The first is a scathing blitz, its metal nuances as ill-tempered as its punk bred brutality. Mike IX unleashes words and vocal dispute as groove swing with equally barbed intent, the flames of sonic enterprise igniting its compelling rancour further lit by the instinctive venom of the song. Its successor rhythmically taunts ears before erupting in a feral harassment of hardcore captivation, again the guitar as gripping in riff malevolence as melodic toxicity. Driven by Cook’s distinctively vindictive tones and acrimonious lyrics, the song is an outstanding end to one simply thrilling offering.
For seven minutes Crush The Machine batters, scars, and savages the senses; a period of sheer pleasure we can only recommend with the last ear gripping presence and invention of Thee Slayer Hippy manna flavoured icing on the cake.
The Crush The Machine 7” is out now via Southern Lord; available @ https://deadendamericasl.bandcamp.com/album/crush-the-machine
Pete RingMaster 10/11/2020