by Hansel Merchor
Considered the band’s first real full-length, The Jonbenet‘s Ugly/Heartless could be the brand new definition of spastic and pummeling. The first two tracks, “Devils” and “Eating Lighting Pt. II,” somehow manage to find their way through complicated mazes and hectic changes to a coherent goal. Their previous output, The Plot Thickens, was seriously auspicious, yet by being compiled of two separate recordings made for a somewhat uneven affair. This new recording shows a band that’s not so much polished its chops as it has rubbed itself against a raspy surface and come out jagged. For those worried about hearing a bestial band grow old and cold, worry no more as none of the aggressiveness shown before has been placed on the backburner. The rage of these four Texans is palpable. Their eclecticism, though clearly entrenched in screamo, frequently shows up through tracks that continuously change paths, but never forget that it’s all about violence. “Love is a Dog From Hell,” surely titled after the Bukowski poem, shows a somewhat milder side, yet what could be considered their grown-up tune could, in the hands of a mellower group, represent the incarnation of the devil himself.