Friday, January 23, 2009

Terror – Always the Hard Way

Always the Hard Way

I’ve always liked Terror, Vogel-isms and all, but Always the Hard Way sounds awkward. This record was written and recorded after Terror’s second line-up purge and it sounds self-conscious, as if they feel the need to “live up” to the first two albums.

It’s strange because, on Always the Hard Way, Terror stuck with its past game plan. The band didn’t go metal or emo or anything like that. It should sound the same as the others, although moments of genius can be heard. “Smash Through You” is a punishing hardcore song in the mold of the 90s Cleveland bands. The title track and “Last of the Diehards” both sound like the Terror that we all know and love. The clunkers on this album, like “Dead End”, are clichéd-ridden and sound hastily written.

Don’t get me wrong, Always the Hard Way is a good album, but only half of it is killer. The other half sounds like rejected/undercooked tunes from the One with the Underdogs session. I realize that this is all hypothetical and that you can’t read someone’s mind, so I could be way off on this. It’s just my educated guess. That said, Always the Hard Way comes across like a band panicked by high expectations. While not their best material, at least Terror has enough conviction to not collapse under the pressure.

Terror – Always the Hard Way


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