Listen or Pose
By Scott Hefflon
I like Abacus. Their last sampler was called Your Favorite New Label and this one’s called Listen or Pose. While both titles may seem arrogant, Abacus makes some smart choices, and the worst they ever do is release something kinda mediocre. Which they’ve done, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve got a damn fine average, and hell, generic bands still appeal to some people, and every good band needs an opener that’s not gonna show ’em up, ya know? (Not to mention I just reviewed the Hollywood Rocks! comp, and if you’ve ever had a threesome with twin sisters who play Great White all the time, trust me, you’ll not only deal with their mediocre tunes, you’ll even start rocking along with them, and you’ll forever hold dear an otherwise mediocre band, see?)
About half of these songs are on CDs that’re out, a few are teasers off CDs coming out this summer, and three are demo versions of songs to be released this fall or in 2006. Most are pure American metalcore, but Germany pipes in with a solid roar in the form of Maroon, Caliban, and Heaven Shall Burn. Rock out to Swarm of the Locus, Embrace the End, Turmoil, Glass Casket, Devilinside, Ion Dissonance, Radiation 4, and Bleeding Kansas.