Sunday, August 17, 2008

Burnt Cross - Carcass of Humanity

Burnt Cross
Carcass of Humanity
Punks Before Profits

Here’s the 10-track full-length from English anarcho-punks Burnt Cross. Carcass of Humanity has all of the English anarcho influences that are to be expected (Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, etc…), but the elements and influences not found in the anarcho-punk formula are what set the album apart.

For one, Burnt Cross adds enough DC hardcore to keep things interesting, such as on the song, “Arms Trade, Death Trade.” Also, I swear that I hear a Midnight Oil influence on “(S)mother Earth,” and I mean that as a good thing. It’s a soaring anthem and one of my favorites on the album. It helps that vocalist Paul Marriott has a strong singing voice. The use of clean vocals on the album lends it an immediacy that would not be achieved if he were doing a George Corpsegrinder impression.

During their interview with MRR, this two-brother punk rock team said that they used a drum machine. I must applaud Burnt Cross for using a drum machine that doesn’t sound like one. That Roland, stilted, canned percussion sound that can be found all over the planet is not found on Carcass of Humanity. Bravo.

The album rarely reaches even a Minor Threat-level velocity, but speed isn’t everything. The songs are well-written and artfully arranged, the drum machine doesn’t sound like one, and the lyrics deal with subjects like the loss of civil liberties and the environment. The record closes with a Cress cover and a techno remix of the song “Jacking Up Jesus.” Believe me, this sounds a lot better than you think.

Carcass of Humanity is available as a download through Moshpit Tragedy Records or on cassette for $4 through Punks Before Profits. Contact:

Punks Before Profits
P.O. Box 1148
Grand Rapids, MI 49501

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