Fall of America
"Progressive crossover thrash" is probably a lame way to describe Cleveland's Fascist Insect, but they don't neatly fall into a specific genre. After two years together, the band has released its second EP, Fall of America. It pumps, pummels and even dances a little bit. The guitars are sharp and dangerous, the electro-drums relentless, and the vocals piercing and nasal. Every song includes at least one unexpected element: "The Leader" has a soft, melodic guitar solo; "Brutal Crematorium" features vocal harmonies; "Emptiness Laughter" offers nasty dance grooves; "Evolved to Obliteration" boasts bizarre hip-hop counterpoints; "Purge" offers an interesting take on California hardcore; and "We Want Some Violence" has a killer chorus. After 17 minutes, you'll either want to know where to get the full-length or feel like you need a Q-Tip to clean the blood out of your ears. - Nick DeMarino
One Card Shy
One Card Shy mixes rock, blues and Americana with generic lyrics about lovers in despair. After a banjo and harmonica intro, singer-guitarist Jeff Boyer tells the story of a couple split by war in "The Ballad of Johnny and Lila." Copperfoot emphasizes its rock side on "Birdtown," which features organ, piano and electric guitar, and Boyer once again weeps about a lost love. While the band plays up the jam side of Americana, nothing here stands out or approaches originality. But you might enjoy One Card Shy if you dig the whole country-blues thing and appreciate fairly good musicianship paired with lyrics about relationships gone wrong. - Wes Dodd
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.