A horrible hack

The South

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Year Released: 2003
Format: LP
Label: Dead Tank
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
I knew this record would be awesome from the moment I laid eyes upon it. Although I know you should never judge a record by it's cover. This one is screened and messy and gave me an inkling of what to expect before I even slapped it onto the turntable. And I guess it's appropriate that I ended up reviewing this LP on the same day that I reviewed the Pine album. These two bands have done more to renew my faith in hardcore than any other new bands in recent time. Both ooze the intangible qualities that make me swoon over a record like it was a 2 day old kitten. It's tough to explain why certain LP's make me want to bay to all and sundry who enjoy a certain style of music that they should check an album out. But the South are one of those bands that subconsciously urge me to run around telling everyone who'll listen to "check out the South! check out the South!".

Chomp! is 8 tracks of pure fire and passion. It burns with a sincerity that so few bands evoke for me, they have the fury and they have the spirit. It's not that common, but every now and again you get a politicized emo band, one which has something to say on a level other than the personal one. Yaphet Kotto is one of those bands. The South is another, they engender that rare feeling of awe in me, the feeling I got when hearing things like the first YK 7" or the first Pine 7" or a multitude of other records that most people are not particularly bothered about. And that's fair play. Different records have different effects on folk, and that's exactly the way it should be.

How many emo bands have song titles like "the Foundations of America Were Built on Religious Fascism and Dinosaurs"? Heh. They'd probably hate me for calling them emo. But that's the sound they have. Powerful screaming, guitars that hurtle along, wobbling precipitously on spider web thin melodies, before crashing into intense grooves that thunder along. They also can hit with a terrifying force, "Fire in the Hole" has moments where it is absolutely nitro fueled and brings the blitz with full effect, and just check out the rather peculiarly named "Crazy Dave Lied About His Shoes" which just plain detonates.

The record is liberally (hoho) sprinkled with some awesome samples from old time Americans and speeches, really adding to the whole political feel that the band emanates. That element makes me want to compare them to the aforementioned Yaphet Kotto. Musically that is a fair thing to say at times, though they are also decidedly different, and I won't demean them by running off a list of other bands that play this kind of thing. The South are worth more than that.

All that remains for me to say is: if you like the same records that I do, you MUST get this.

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