There‘s been far too many amazing bands coming out of Washington D.C. the last 25 years to ever have even a marginal hope of listing them. No matter what the rest of the country is doing, D.C. has an uncanny ability to keep churning out amazing hardcore, punk, and post-hardcore year, after year, after year. 86 Mentality is no exception, and Goin’ Nowhere Fast nicely amasses each of the 19 songs they’ve recorded since their inception in 2003.
Combing a gruff but fierce vocal delivery with an unrelenting hardcore punk sound, the D.C. natives blaze through all of their recorded material with an unabashed and reckless abandon. This collection spans their 2004 debut 7”, the On the Loose 7”, two new and unreleased songs, a track from their 2003 demo, two live songs, and covers of 4-Skins and S.O.A. songs.
While there may be 19 songs in all, the record doesn’t even break the 30-minute mark, and it’s that brevity that keeps the album fresh and hard-hitting. “Terror Boys” lights a fire under the band straight from the outset, with Steve Clark’s delivery being the scruffy centerpiece. The delivery is curt and effective, not relenting in intensity for so much as a second. The pace does slow a bit in instances like the beginning of “Escape,” but there’s still those hard-hitting riffs and thick bass lines that had been so prevalent in the record early on. Tracks 1-6 are all from the S/T 7”, while 8-13 are from the On the Loose 7”, and it’s the latter of those that has a lot better sound quality. It’s still raw, still full of aggression, but it just sounds much better on the whole. The rhythms are quick and hard-hitting, the drums tight...the entire package is simply one to be impressed with.
The last five tracks, though, are where the band really shows their stuff. “Way Of Life” is absolutely blistering, with some of the quickest drum fills and speediest chord progression on the entire record, with Clark howling over it all with a real venom to each and every word he delivers. The live renditions of “Terror Boys” and “Get Away” are inspired, and give a great feel for the kind of intensity that would be felt at one of the band's live shows. Closing out this collection are the covers of “Evil” and “Gonna Hafta Fight,” originally recorded by 4-Skins and S.O.A., respectively. Both are done well, and given a little extra kick in the ass to make for a more urgent sounding track than was originally recorded.
The band says in their liner notes that they don’t know whether this will be a collection before a new record, or if it will end up being their discography, but no matter how it turns out, they’ve certainly kept the D.C. tradition in the highest of esteem.