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Yaphet Kotto: The Killer Was In The Government BlanketsThe Killer Was In The Government Blankets (1999)
Reviewer Rating: 5
Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Iím going to be blunt about this. Yaphet Kotto is absolutely the best band many of you have never heard of. Hailing from Santa Cruz, the emotive hardcore outfit will make you throw most of your old hardcore records out. Many bands claim passionate intensity with intricate musicianship, but The Killer Was In The Government Blankets will actually give some validity to that description. These 9 songs will knock you on your ass, and after itís done you wonít even want to get back up.
Right boot oppresses me, making it impossible to breathe / One foot placed on my neck, and the others welcoming / Complaints go unheard, a simple task / Not make believe, would make them see / .. / Majority rules, both hands outstretched / With no attempt, and they donít reach / The status quo was planned to make up a place for me / The working class denied, shown for the last time / You took more from me than I gave you.Thatís the kind of strong songwriting shown throughout the entire album, with both vocalists really putting their heart into every single word. Just as strong as the lyrics and vocals is the instrumentation laid down here. The transitions between clean and crunching guitars are absolutely flawless, and both guitarists intertwine to create some real moments of insanity. They might slow down at points, but the intensity doesnít even waver for a split second.
After some feedback, the album's opener "First Meetings Agreement" breaks the door right down. You can tell right from the outset that this is going to be one hell of a song. The song breaks towards the middle for some slowly intensifying drum fills, and then lulls back down to a dull roar, and slowly fades into the next track, and definitely one of the album's strongest, "Torn Pictures." The vocals here are nothing short of incredible, and the guitar work just makes the song that much better. The album's strongest track comes with "B And C," which leads in with some cool bass lines, then proceeds to punch you in the face, repeatedly. The vocals sound so urgent and the guitars accentuate that to a tee. This is Yaphet Kotto at their absolute best.
Things keep going at a good pace throughout the rest of the album, having its spastic vocal freakouts, and slower, more driving moments, but thereís absolutely no filler here. Every aspect is just as strong as the last. The vocals and lyrics are top notch, the musicianship is incredible, and for the most part, the production is on point as well. There are one or two sporadic moments where the backing vocals are kind of lost in things, but itís definitely not enough to detract from any of the songs.
I really canít praise this album enough. Iíve owned it for about 3 years now, and itís still in constant play, if not in my stereo, then on my computer. This album is everything hardcore, in essence, is meant to be. Passionate, urgent, aware, and damn is it loud. The two albums recorded after this,
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