It’s not just the lyrical content that I’ve found amazing about this album. The End of Silence is jam packed with music that shreds any preconceived notion of what hardcore punk is all about. And, that’s probably because this is anything but a hardcore punk rock album! This album is hopped up rock n’ roll turned up to eleven, just so the notes are that much more distorted and that much more intense. Take “Grip,” for instance, and revel in the musicianship, all workman –like, wreaking havoc on the aural senses. The tune opens with the entire band groovin’ on a heavily distorted blues line before Rollins himself chimes in with a hint of melodic vocals. Underlying the riff, listen to individual musicians. Bassist Andrew Weiss provides a bass line that adds more funk than punk, yet . . . still heavy as all hell. In fact, throughout the song, the bass work is all over the place. Dipping and diving, adding the necessary low end to give the proper amount of weight for Rollins’ rage filled vocals. Now, take that “funky” groove and add the drum work of Sim Cain, which would fit well with any prog-rock outfit, and you have the makings of a truly unique rhythm section. Loose flowing bass with a precise and calculated drum attack . . . soul meets science. This is a tune that you can lose yourself in and is rich in sonic pleasure.
“What Do You Do” splits the skull open with its opening bass line run through a distortion pedal of sorts, creating this uber-heavy and vile wall of low end damage. Mid tempo and pounding out the jams, “What Do You Do” is a close up to the frustration that Rollins has with the fragile state of human mentality. Yeah, he’s lumping himself in that group, but he’s showing the weakness of mankind in how they deal with the tough decisions, the decisions that make us stand above our peers. What do you do when your back’s against the wall? Do you roll over and die like all the others? Do face the opposition with steel reserve and fight your way out? Sim Cain does an immaculate job of providing the pummeling beats, holding this sucker steady while adding the occasional flourish of drum fill to show that he’s got chops.
The End of Silence is that album. Yes . . . the one that has the ability to define its listener, so heavy and so real, so passionate and so ugly. Through all of the depression and self hatred, there’s a cautionary tale to the whole thing. Take responsibility for your life, get up and kick life in the tenders, and don’t trust anybody to have your back. Be a machine and learn to feel no pain. It’s a great message when you’re all alone and you’re trying to re-invent yourself, or you’re trying to work through some life crisis. It’s not the greatest message if you’re trying to building a last life with other humans. Personally, I go back to this disc every time the universe decides to fuck with me. You’re gonna’ take away my only source of income and make it that much difficult for me to pay my mortgage? Fine. Give me as second to reach of here for my copy of The End of Silence so I can find the courage to tell the universe where to go . . . and to save me a seat. I’ll be joining you in no time. - Pope JTE