about ten times, and you wanna’ know what I discovered? I found that not only was this album growing on me (duh!), but I was thinking in the deepest, darkest recesses of my brain that this album could quite possibly be better than the first! How in God’s name did that happen?
“Breakout” doesn’t necessarily “breakout” of the gates, but it does break the band out of any confines that the music world had previously placed around them. The piano intro and slow, melodic build up show a band that has turned its back on the gospel of by-the-books-or-else-you-suck punk ethos and have embraced the idea that it’s cool to know how to play one’s instruments with some sense of melody. But, don’t go thinking that Crumbsuckers have gone all Barry Manilow or anything (not that there’s anything wrong with that), they still know how to bring the hardcore breakdowns into play and still pummel the senses with the best of them. As the progressive musical intro fades out, the Crumbsuckers of old rear their beautifully ugly heads and that hardcore flavor jumps to the top of the mix. Super fast, super aggressive, the lad’s fire off a sonic beat down that would fit fine on Life of Dreams. Chris Notaro’s incomprehensive guttural vocal tirade is top notch and unlike any sound experienced before or since, and it adds further nastiness to the whole composition. Speaking of composition, “Breakout” is a study of a group of guys taking two forms of music, and not just the fleshy parts, but the genetic makeup of heavy metal musicality and hardcore aggressiveness, mashing the two together and creating an incredibly intense, new subspecies of sound. The heavy metal portions are epic heavy metal, while the hardcore portions carry so much aggression that you’ll unwittingly clench your jaw to face the oncoming barrage of violence. And, just when you think that the storm of chaos has subsided, it only takes about two seconds from the next song to destroy any sense of comfort. “Jimmie’s Dream,” with its guitar-centric opening riff and thundering, up tempo beat, is highlighted by impressively tight starts and stops, and Notaro’s unique and impassioned vocal performance.
Things don’t change too much when we flip over the platter as we’re welcomed to side two by “I Am He.” Again, the vocals over this high octane speed freak are delectable. Notaro’s grunts and screams excite and revile at the same time, and then of course, there’s the breakdown towards the end of the tune as the guitars go from heavily distorted riffs to clean arpeggios. Then, they go back to a frickin’ sweet melodic riff, which sounds out of sorts with those diaphragm heaving vocals, but God damn! It’s frinkin’ cool! Great time changes and a billion moods all wrapped up in a four minute plus ass kicking. Each song has something to offer in the way of musical splendor, in particular, the uber-quick starts and stops, which may sound disjointed to some, make for an entertaining, roller coaster-type rip roarin’ ride. Check out “The Connection” as the band gives the song breath, yet retains a ton of power by abruptly cutting notes out of the riffs. Or, the melodic splendor mixed with the double bass drum frenzy on “Rejuvenate.” I love it! Melodic metal with hardcore intensity, full on tension that breaks with huge musical movements, subtle instrumentation by each band member . . . C’mon, “Rejuvenate” is a spectacular piece of music! And then there’s “Remembering Tomorrow” with its NWOBHM clean toned intro and epic build up before launching into a thrash-y, palm muted riff. The electro distorted vocals are a creepy touch, but show that Crumbsuckers aren’t afraid to experiment with sounds.