Monday, August 16, 2010

Review #146: The Faith/Void Split (1982)


Year: 1982
Genre: Punk Rock
Label: Dischord Records

27 Minutes
My Rating:

The Faith and Void were two hardcore punk bands from Washington D.C. in the early '80s. The Faith was fronted by Ian MacKaye's younger brother, Alec MacKaye, and this was their debut release. Void had already released a 7" EP before this, and they are considered an influential band in starting the crossover-thrash genre (combining heavy metal and hardcore punk). Despite having many songs, the songs are often a minute or less in length, so the record totals up to just under a half-hour of music. And I dunno any crazy backstories for this one, so let's just get to it.

1. The Faith - "It's Time"
Pretty cool surf-y sounding beat and a great riff. The vocals have the classic D.C. snarl and it's a pretty damn solid track. Very angry-sounding. The chorus is a little more up-beat. The song is about wanting to get revenge on a judgemental society.

2. The Faith - "Face to Face"
Much faster! More melodic backing vocals are sung in the mid-section before the end of the song.

3. The Faith - "Trapped"
The song starts out sounding like the song before it, but the riff is much better. Then it changes up a lot in the chorus, with the ascending razor-sharp chorus riff.

4. The Faith - "In Control"
Starts with a slow section with a near-perfect guitar riff that just sounds really fucking awesome. Then that part ends and the song speeds up and the riff changes. After that part, the song repeats a little bit of the slow part one more time before ending.

5. The Faith - "Another Victim"
Fast. Sucks I don't know the lyrics. Not easy to figure out when Alec sings so damn fast.

6. The Faith - "What's Wrong With Me"
I love the little drum roll that intervals in the beginning of the song in the verse section. The chorus part is fucking awesome, with a little bit of extra guitar over-dubbed to harmonize with the main rhythm guitar, and adds to the flavor of the melody in that part.

7. The Faith - "What You Think"
Yep. Fast song yet again. This one's about the singer not caring what society thinks about him because they don't understand where he's coming from or his views on life anyways.

8. The Faith - "Confusion"
Slow, heavy intro. Eerie little lead guitar bits in that part. Alec's voice sounds all echo-y as he sings of his inner delusion and confusion that torments him. Then the song gets fast in the chorus part. The next section repeats the first part except the vocals are angrier and more intense this time around. Then another fast part. The song ends with some wisps of feedback.

9. The Faith - "You're X'd"
A song about posers in the Straight Edge scene who only claim it as their lifestyle as a fashion trend and secretly partake in drugs and alcohol anyways.

10. The Faith - "Nightmare"
This song's fast but not quite as much as the other ones. The tempo is sort of like "Circle One" by the Germs. The chorus riff is pretty cool.

11. The Faith - "Don't Tell Me"
Awesome verse riff! I love it. The song is pretty simple -- about people complaining about problems and pointless shit when we've already got our own problems to deal with. Great solo at the end.

12. The Faith - "In the Black"
Starts off with a weird backwards part. Then after a bit of jumbled bass, the song 'really' starts, and it's more mid-tempo. It's the longest song on the Faith's side. The melody here is more depressing and downbeat than the other songs. The song ends very abruptly! And that's the end of the Faith's side. Time for some Void...

13. Void - "Who Are You"
Starts out kind of weird, with some fucking around with the speeds, and then a false-start, and then the song just fucking blasts off like a rocket! John Weiffenbach sounds like an even angrier version of Ian MacKaye, and the synchronization between the vocals and the instruments with eachother sounds so shaky and strategically erratic that it just sounds like a big fucking blast of musical violence! Almost a response to the Faith's "Don't Tell Me" from the other side of the LP where this time the song's protagonist is mad because nobody ever listens to his problems! The song's chorus goes "WHO ARE YOU AND WHY AM I HERE??".

14. Void - "Time to Die"
Extremely aggressive and abrasive song! Kind of like a freakish cross between Minor Threat, Black Flag, and the Germs. The first riff is very cool, and the verse riff sounds real catchy, and then just sort of dark in the third riff. Seriously, this guy sounds like he's about to fucking lose it! I love it.

15. Void - "Condensed Flesh"
Very fast, with lots of tempo pauses and some parts feel like pure noise rumbling beneath your ears! An early version of this song can be found on the "Charred Remains" compilation tape.

16. Void - "Ignorant People"
Slow, heavy metal-style intro. The verse is full-speed-ahead fast, and the chorus is just like the intro riff and speed. A really fucked-up guitar solo can be heard near the end of the song before the song goes for an extended version of the verse section. The song attacks ignorant conformist people who "think they're individuals" when they only conform at every turn.

17. Void - "Change Places"
Slow, ominous intro. This song is pretty interesting in the sense that the tempo is constantly shifting between kinda fast and very fast, often when you don't expect it coming.

18. Void - "Ask Them Why"
The intro's slow and heavy. The verse and chorus are very fast, and John still sounds like he can barely keep up with the rest of the band. I like the riff that plays at the very end of the song.

19. Void - "Organized Sports"
My guess is that, well, this one iz about sports at school. Slow chorus with a shouted chorus that goes, well... uhh... see the title. Dude. There's some pretty fucking funny-sounding sped-up vocals in the background in the chorus section.

20. Void - "My Rules"
The first Void song I ever heard. There was another version of it on the "Flex Your Head" compilation. Awesome fast verse section, and a memorable-as-hell slow chorus part. I love it.

21. Void - "Self-Defense"
Don't know the words to this one. It's fast. It has a shouted chorus. Yeah.

22. Void - "War Hero"
Echo-y, spacey intro. Very fast. John's vocals are a little more muffled here. Gotta love the awkward tempo-shifts that happen in the chorus. The song ends in some clashing and bashing of noize at the end.

23. Void - "Think"
Second Void song I listened to. The vocals here are just about as loud and screamy as you can get without just sounding ridiculous. First half iz fast. Second half is slower and has a cool riff that goes perfect with the singing in that part. Neat backwards solo. And then MORE FAST MUSIC! HOLY SHIT!!

24. Void - "Explode"
The song begins with an ominous noodling about of the guitar and a one-note weird guitar noise. This is repeated, gradually faster and faster as Johnny just laughs n' laughs until the song segues into an extremely fast section that quickly does 'explode' into pure noise and musical chaos. And then, my friend... you die. YOU DIE! YOU DIE! YOU DIE! AAAGGGHHH!

Well, I strongly recommend this. I hadn't listened to the whole thing aside from a few songs prior to this review, but it definitely feels like one of the better hardcore albums I've heard. The Faith songs are fun as hell and very well-written, and the Void songs are overflowing with energy and hit you with un-expected twists at all the right times. Most of the songs here are great. So, definitely check this one out. Basically a step or two higher evolved than Minor Threat.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. Don't Tell Me (The Faith)
2. Time to Die (Void)
3. In Control (The Faith)

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