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Razor: Open hostility

16/07/12  ||  Habakuk

Razor. One of these “legendary” acts that somehow never made it big. However, once you dig just a little below the thrash surface, you will run into their name. Otherwise you’re digging the wrong way. What makes them great? This album is a good example. Lots of bands talk about not taking shit from anything, Razor actually didn’t but soldiered on. Case in point: “Open hostility” was released in difficult times for the band, the most obvious sign of that being the use of a drum computer instead of a real drummer.

Congratulations, you are now the only one still reading this review. This album is for you. Does it matter that there is no real drummer? No. Sure, the hi-hat gives it away and some (especially solo) parts sound a tiny bit too sterile, but the band actually managed to make an engaging thrash record nonetheless – because that’s what they do. Not one where you say “well it could be cool, but with a real drummer…” – sure a real drummer would have been better, but even as it is, it’s actually downright good, great even at times. That is because out of the remaining three members, two show absolutely awesome performances, well, and the third one plays bass.

Dave Carlo ripping through his simple yet insanely catchy riff barrage is a lesson in thrash metal guitar play. Its somewhat anarchic, no-holds-barred feel actually seems to profit from the machine-driven precision in the rhythm section, and the pissed off sounding but never irritating vocal performance by the band’s later day frontman Bob Reid transports the intended angry vibe perfectly. Hence even the corniest “us against them” theme or a song about a party going out of hand (“Puke! Stains! Permanently on my rug :O “) sounds like a great idea for a song. This is probably the worst example though, most of the lyrics are actually somewhat decent – luckily, as they’re definitely well decipherable. And last but not least: computerized drums or not, the overall sound of the album is actually quite good. The drum samples sound surprisingly natural for the most part and correspond well with the thick guitar track and a bit of low-end from the bass.

In closing: To call this album underappreciated is a definite understatement. Check it out for some “against all odds” aggressive thrash goodness by one of the most consistent, uncompromising thrash acts that has ever been around.

8

  • Information
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Fringe product
  • Website: Razor Website
  • Band
  • Bob Reid: vocals
  • Dave Carlo: guitars, drum programming
  • Jon Armstrong: bass
  • Tracklist
  • 01. In protest
  • 02. Sucker for punishment
  • 03. Bad vibrations
  • 04. Road gunner
  • 05. Cheers
  • 06. Red money
  • 07. Free lunch
  • 08. Iron legions
  • 09. Mental torture
  • 10. Psychopath
  • 11. I disagree
  • 12. End of the war