Death March - A Different War (Cover Artwork)

Death March

A Different War (2014)


After teaming up with members of Society’s Parasites and releasing a 7-inch record called Fuck Your Fucking War in 2013, “Skinhead” Rob Aston is back to continue the war-themed barrage of bangers with A Different War from his group Death March. Aston’s material has become polarizing in today’s punk landscape as legions of mid-1990s Rancid fans continue to hate on his love of hip-hop and harsh vocal delivery whenever he teams up or is featured alongside Tim Armstrong and company.

First things first; it’s safe to say no new Aston fans will be won over with A Different War. Fast, ripping hardcore in the vein of early D.R.I. or F-Minus builds the base for these 14 songs pounded out in just 23 minutes. Every song is fast. Every song is heavy. Aston’s trademark growl is as angry as ever with backing helpers coming from guitarist and album producer Freddy Zepeda. The record’s lyrical content is extremely negative; those in favor of more positive messages should look elsewhere. With song titles along the lines of “Hatred Personified,” “Death By Cop” and “They’re Fucking It Up For Us All” the overall vibe is not an uplifting one but I feel it works well within this context.

Accompanying the album is a 16-page, black and white lyric booklet that appears to be hand-scrawled by Aston himself. Digital listeners receive the same booklet in PDF. The inclusion of the full-page sized booklet really fits with the old school hardcore feel of the record, so much so that it prompted me to raise the score by half a star. The photocopied images and hand-drawn scribbling give character to each of the songs and entice the listener to follow along with the music.

A Different War is not for everyone. Despite any preconceived judgments you might have about Aston, if you appreciate a quality throwback to minute-long hardcore rippers then this record has the potential to find a place in your collection.

You can check out the record here.