I hit an interesting (well, mildly) milestone today. Today I learned that it is indeed possible to get too much of a good thing. Violation Wound are strictly in the metallic punk business and With Man in Charge (Peaceville) is all about that life. Think of it as a slightly more polished version of the musical filth Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals gleefully dabble in.
So far that sounds like a brilliant idea, but to sweeten the deal we’re also throwing Autopsy’s Chris Reifert on vocals and guitars. What’s that going to sound like? ‘Humanity Burning’ is a shotgun blast to the back of the head that opens With Man in Charge and acts as the template for the noise to come. And it’s a template that pays dividends on other barnburners like the d-beat laced ‘Vortex’ and on the rubbery low-end infested ‘Selling Your Soul for Damage Control.’ Joe Orterry’s sinewy bass lines are the fuel that burns in the center of amphetamine cuts like ‘Stalemate Suicide’ and ‘Smoke and Flames.’
I mean, what’s not to like on With Man in Charge? Well, kids, strap in as we must return to that old touchstone we call editorial restraint. For future reference, just because you have twenty tracks doesn’t always mean you have to use them all. If the album cut out the utterly cornball rock diatribe ‘Destroy the Factory’ and concluded after ‘Two Middle Fingers, Whiskey and Beer’ we’re for sure looking at a solid 9. Sure, the shorter song duration seems like it welcomes more tracks, but there’s a lot to chew on each number. By the time ‘Don’t Believe It’ and ‘Scratched Out’ rollout, the listener has long had his musical fill and isn’t as focused. How much piss and vinegar is Reifert housing that he needs to 20 songs to exorcise it all?
Maybe I got it all wrong. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing, right? Or whatever that fucking quote is. The less is more approach, think Nails or Converge, seemed like the right call here.