Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review #94: Government Warning - No Way Out (EP) (2005)


Year: 2005
Genre: Punk Rock
No Way Records
10 Minutes (Short)
My Rating:

Government Warning is a hardcore-punk rock band from Richmond, Virginia. The group formed around 2004. The music they play is fast, loud... you know the drill. It's not bad, though. The band does write pretty good songs and has a neat lo-fi garage-y sound -- true to the spirit of the original '80s hardcore punk movement. Just has that right vibe to it. This was their first record ever, along with being the first release on "No Way Records" which I suspect the band created itself to release this EP. That label now releases records for various hardcore bands throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. Anyways, about this record... it's their first one. Uhh... it's less metal-oriented than the more recent releases and more just straight-up hardcore. There's a picture of the White House on the cover...

1. Railroaded
Starting with a big stomp-out of noize from all instruments. The drums get a-rolling and the song kicks off at a really fast speed. The song is a less humorous take on the sort of dystopia often sung about by the Dead Kennedys -- a world where we all just put on our suits and ties, follow orders, only to get locked away if we disobey the "code". "Sometimes the truth can be worse than fiction", says Kenny the vocalist. They yell "bullshit" a lot in this song.

2. Blank
Starts out sort of atonal, but then a bit less after the first few seconds. Very fast like the first song -- somewhere inbetween MDC and Minor Threat musically. This song detests the apathy among many American people during the war, not doing anything to stop the madness while "killing fields are covered in blood" and "Soldiers sink their feet in mud".

3. Government Warning
Starts out kinda slow with a great beat. About 1/3 into the song, the song speeds up into typical thrash fashion. What I like about the vocals here is on the shoust of "GOVERNMENT WARNING" in the chorus part, the first chant is ended in a lower note than the second chant. You'd probably need to listen to it to know what I mean. But it sounds good. The song ends in a slow section similar to how it began -- only to end in one more quick fast section right at the very end. Much like the songs before it, the song describes a displeasure with the current American way of living and anger at the Government for enforcing a specific system on its citizens with no alternatives. The EP's title "No Way Out" comes from a repeated line in the song. End of Side 1.

4. Walking Dead
Starts only with a guitar melody and a little bit of light percussion -- the song begins to pick up some ground, and about 1/3 into it, it's off at light-speed again. Okay, maybe not light-speed, but pretty fast. There's some nice use of little strands of lead guitar solos scattered throughout certain parts of the chorus. Really great lyrics about the struggle of the working people in America just to stay alive and enjoy life, feeling like the "Walking Dead", feeling "forced to be glad"; being used as a mere piece of a larger machine. A bone in a dead dinosaur unable to break free.

5. Ghost Town
Fast and hard. A song told from the viewpoint of a poor Holden Caulfield; basically in the sense that everything around him feels fake and dead. "People all around, but I'm all alone" -- that's a feeling a get a lot too, sometimes. Basically it's a song about a punk's distaste for suburban superficiality.

6. Self-Destruct
In a sense, this one's the "slowest" song here. Still fast, though. The lyrics to this one are so damn true -- people today never want to rebel. Nobody wants to challenge the values they're raised on, they're "just content to be average or mediocre" -- THIS IS FOR FUCKING REAL. If there's one thought that really DOES get me angry/riled up, it's that one. That we're devolving. Somebody here needs to have some balls. Do something crazy. Be a free person. I dunno. But we really do need more of that in this society. I won't have this jaded decline. Neither will the singer, evidently.

"No Way Out" is a pretty classic-sounding, solid hardcore EP. It's fresh, sincere, ragged, and has a story to tell (I love stories). It's pretty clear what message they were trying to convey with this one -- the rat maze of America kills its rats. Whether through inducing of depression, apathy, stress, overworking, sickness, or whatever; mainstream American culture, behind its plastic facade and high fructose corn syrup sweetness (with fake freedom fries on the side) is ultimately laden with, well, death. An abusive, virtually undefeatable father deformed from old age with his children cowering in fear and submission -- forever. You can feel this pain in the lyrics of these songs. The music is good, too... the songwriting is pretty damn good. The recordings have a really fuzzed-out, grainy lo-fi sound. So yeah, this is a proper example of GOOD modern hardcore punk. Check it out. Man.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. Government Warning

2. Blank

3. Self-Destruct

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