Latin for Truth - Diatribe or Die! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Latin for Truth

Diatribe or Die! (2010)

Mightier Than Sword

Latin for Truth's first release since a near-death van crash in 2009 is this digital EP issued last year, Diatribe or Die!. The followup to that year's problematic full-length debut, Eleven Eleven, seems to take heed of that album's issues, but still comes off unfortunately middling due to a few remaining issues.

The band continues to play the type of speedy, hardcore-influenced pop-punk that's been so popular to adopt the last decade or so. However, they've excised a lot of the unnecessary Four Year Strong-esque elements that plagued Eleven Eleven, removing the double-bass rolls, mosh, gang shouts and nearly all of the nü-metalcore growls. There's a ripping solo in intro-ish opener "Mexicaine de Perforation", but the nasally singing is a little flat and sounds awkward coming after the throttled barks that propel it forward at first.

"No Love Lawst" is a pretty straightforward, poppy melodic hardcore track. While the vocals aren't particularly interesting or invigorating, things flow a lot smoother here, and the last minute has a pulsing, swelling buildup that shows great promise. But as this song on the whole, and the followup, "Socially Adrift, Physically in Tune" shows, either the muffled production or lack of energy in the singing really seems to be the band's central issue on this EP. It just doesn't engage the listener and pull them into the band's otherwise riffy spheres and pulsating, pop-punky pound.

"88 Says" does the same thing. The opening lick and quick double-time pickup should get any fan of this style stoked, but then the awkward, slow singing comes in and drags it all down. There's some more emphatic yells in here, but it mostly sounds like having a conversation with an intelligent dude who mumbles all his words incomprehensibly. On "Natural Tailor of Natural Joy", it sounds like the singer is talking into a shoebox.

Diatribe or Die! has a lot less problems than Eleven Eleven, but it still affects the release as negatively as the band's multitude of prior issues did. There's definitely some great pop-punk/melodic hardcore songs in here; some things just need to be reworked to hear 'em.

Mexicaine de Perforation
No Love Lawst
88 Says