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Ironbound NYC - With a Brick (Cover Artwork)

Ironbound NYC

Ironbound NYC: With a BrickWith a Brick (2006)
Thorp Records

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ever get into an argument/discussion about punk with an old-timer and have them make some comment like, "It's just a bunch of shouting and ranting?" I have and I always considered such claims to be baseless generalizations. Then I finally figured out where ideas blossomed from; these punk music detr.
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Ever get into an argument/discussion about punk with an old-timer and have them make some comment like, "It's just a bunch of shouting and ranting?" I have and I always considered such claims to be baseless generalizations. Then I finally figured out where ideas blossomed from; these punk music detractors must have been listening to Ironbound NYC.

This year NYHC vets Sick of It All released Death to Tyrants, an impassioned, competent and uplifting piece of hardcore fury. It is surprising that a band going so long could still create music that was so vital and vibrant. Therefore I was excited to learn members had participated in a side project as part of Ironbound NYC. My excitement quickly died. The press proclaimed "featuring" members of Sick of It All but it soon became apparent that rather than a true collaborative project, this was more along the lines of a guest appearance. Guitarist Pete Koller and bassist Craig Ahead are only listed as being on five of the 10 tracks on the disc, and one of those tracks isn't even a song.

I was under the impression that hardcore punk was designed to break away from the going-through-motions attitude, the type that mainstream rock had managed to push its way into earlier punk bands. I guess no one told that to these guys. This is apparently supposed to be classic NYHC style music. Well, then Ironbound NYC has determined "classic" NYHC to be synonymous with boring, generic and moronic. I figured this album might be more along the lines of Sick of It All's earlier material circa Blood, Sweat & No Tears. It does use that traditional sound as a base but for the most part lacks any memorable guitar parts, the shout-along gang vocals and lacks all of the energy that this music requires to be executed successfully.

Rather than be political (even in the broadest scene-politics sense) or personal or satirical, the band prefers to display the worst in pissed off tough guy stereotypes about lashing out at invisible enemies. Take for instance the lyrics on the title song: "Just when I seemed I had it all / Somehow I set myself up for a fall / Bad decisions make so quick / Hit you in the face with a fucking brick / CHUMP;" truly inspiring. The lyrics would lead one to believe these guys are really pissed off fellows. Rather than conveying a genuine sense of discontentment, vocalist Thomaso Skorupski sounds at best like a grumpy old man that doesn't want to take his medicine, and at worst a child throwing a tantrum in Toys-R-Us (the lyrics help aid the second image more).

In terms of guitar riffs there is nothing that sounds original, mostly a rehash of a rehash. This music isn't generally supposed to be too fast or too heavy but the decent amount of intensity that the guys from Sick of It All bring makes the songs without them look that much more lackluster. In fact, the best song out of the whole record is the first one after the intro, "Dismay." The song is made the highlight of the album by a quick pace, catchy main guitar line, and only one really laughably bad lyric in the first verse. After this song the album never again really reaches anything that would be cause for repeated spins.

The simple fact is that in the year 2006 music like this doesn't need to be made. The album artwork even looks like some cheesy cover for some late `90s southern gangsta rapper, į la No Limit Records...which seems befitting along with the crass marketing of this project "featuring" Sick of It All members. The lyrics are the major downfall of the album, which might be okay for a group of really angry 15-year-olds playing their parents' garage. That, however, isn't who is making this record; it is a group of full grown men that at this point should be somewhat thoughtful about their place in this world rather than blindly lashing out at it. However, some of the lyrics on "Strength in Unity" are almost a Freudian slip about the redundancy of this record:

Why can't I see inside myself / why can't I see behind my fears / why can't I look to someone else / why is it so hard to believe in myself / why do we run from reality?
Why indeed.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 3, 2006)

feeding5000, on the mark.

Anonymous (December 3, 2006)

"Bad decisions make so quick / Hit you in the face with a fucking brick / CHUMP;"

That is AMAZING.

You can tell by the 3 dollar photoshop job cover and band name that these guys are worthless. It's kind of sad how mouthbreathing jocks had to come in and ruin hardcore for everyone.

feeeding5000 (December 3, 2006)

Kraut? Kraut was generic. The vocals and lyrics are "par for the core", if you will. The production on all their stuff is muddy and horrible, and they have pointless classic rock influences in there. Oh, I agree that Urban Waste is good. I'm not saying that "hardcore from New York" is bad, I'm saying that "NYHC" is bad -- there's a difference. "NYHC" would be stuff from... probably '83 or '84 onward. That (mostly) sucks.

Anonymous (December 3, 2006)

Shit, I meant "Stimulators." I need to start proofreading.

Anonymous (December 3, 2006)

Whoa, whoa... NYHC as in Madball and Agnostic Front's later stuff (and by that I mean anything post Victim in Pain) does suck, but "United Blood" is a fucking scorcher, the Stimulants ruled, along with Kraut, Reagan Youth, Urban Waste, etc., so don't discriminate all of New York's fine punk HC heritage (and yeah, most of it is nowhere near as good as what was going on in Boston or DC or anywhere else, but tell me "Ignorant" by Urban Waste isn't a good fucking song...). It sucks that all this gang style shit became cool or even acceptable at some point, but all we can do is laugh at it and listen to the good bands.

-Will

dreux (December 3, 2006)

I agree with the reviewer

Anonymous (December 3, 2006)

Do bands actually sing about being "down for the core"? I really hope so, if only for the fact that the thought of that is hilarious (At the same time it's a little sad though).

SloaneDaley (December 2, 2006)

I enjoyed that rant but I still think SOIA by and large is a pretty good band and aren't that mindless.

feeeding5000 (December 1, 2006)

First of all, SOIA is generic feces. Why else do you think they're so popular? Oh, yeah, "Potential for a Fall", real fucking catchy. It's not like it's just a bunch of recycled hardcore riffs with bland vocals. Hell, Sick of it All don't even write songs "about" anything! They just put a bunch of fuckin' words together and go, "Okay, dudes, this next song is about scene unity, and bein' strong, and staying true to yourself." Fuck! I agree with ... Ken. NYHC, as in Agnostic Front, Cro-mags, et al, is the absolute ass-end of punk rock. If all you can think about is how fucking tough you are, or how much you've been stabbed in the back, then maybe you should set your ass down on the toilet for a few hours and try to shit out something worth singing about. If not for NYHC, we wouldn't have hundreds or thousands of mid-tempo mosh-metal bands making songs about how they're "down for the core". We wouldn't have to deal with Victory and Trustkill. Jock metalheads who want to kill their girlfriends (punks who have grilfriends!?) wouldn't be doing kung-fu kicks and takedowns in the middle of pits. Plus, NYHC brought that sort of right-wing machismo into hardcore. Without Agnostic Front singing about "welfare queens", we wouldn't have had Vegan Reich (see the name) saying that a woman's natural place in is the home, having babies, and we wouldn't have Hoods calling people a bunch of "fucking faggots". Plus, Jamey Jasta wouldn't be on MTV, and less Jamey Jasta is good for everybody. And, for the record, I do like Reagan Youth, and some of the Youth Crew bands, but I don't consider thyem in this vein of "NYHC".

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

i agree with this review. This kind of stuff is moronic and baseless.

Mute98 (December 1, 2006)

first lemme say im not a sick of it all fan

however, these guys got the right idea, theyre just too generic, nothing stands out. im not asking to be unique but there are a ton of hardcore bands id take over them, but i can see them improving

SloaneDaley (December 1, 2006)

I'll agree PiB has some rehash but I can actually remember the songs after I'm done listening to the cd and there is some fire under Dan's ass when he sings. Also in terms of what the two bands sing about I'll take PiB over this any day.

strangenotes (December 1, 2006)

Can we use that argument against Dan Yemin, too? I enjoy PIB, but seriously, it's the same metaphors over and over and over and over and over.

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

the singer is a practicing Psychiatrist. Sometimes there is more to simple lyrics than stupidity - call it minimalism

That is a bit surprising but music is an artform not a science. If he was a PHD and literary scholar then it might be valid to assume he is a good writer.

killdefenses (December 1, 2006)

i hate when someone references a band members schooling doctorate and practicie as if its some irrifutable proof that it makes them smart or commendable. half the kids in my psychology class we're the dumbest shitbags i've run into.

strangenotes (December 1, 2006)

I'm pretty surprised ANCHORS didn't review this.

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

Yeah jerkoff Nyhc is everything wrong with punk rock. I dident know writing music about how you have to live in certain places is wrong. Sick of it all are wayyyyyy better than infest.

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

Want to know what the antithesis of NYHC is? INFEST. Seriously. INFEST were these huge muscular dudes who spoke out against machismo and thuggery in the scene, played brutal fast music with smart political lyrics and were mostly tolerant of non-edge people. Basically they were everything hardcore should be as opposed to NYHC which is the sum total of everything wrong with punk rock. What eternally burns me is that kids have an easy time finding shit like this Thorp Records garbage whereas like 1% of punks have ever heard of Infest. I suppose that my only comfort is that Infest will remain legends in the hardcore scene for the next century while these NYHC douchebags will go down in books like David Lee Roth's solo material.
-Ken

Anonymous (December 1, 2006)

the singer is a practicing Psychiatrist. Sometimes there is more to simple lyrics than stupidity - call it minimalism.

SloaneDaley (December 1, 2006)

I recall the lyrics to “With A Brick” going way over the top with machismo

yup almost made me stop listening but I gave the album a few chances and throw it on when I attempt to weight lift. My anger at the lyrics rather than in them helps get me going.

adam (December 1, 2006)

I recall the lyrics to “With A Brick” going way over the top with machismo

-adam

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