The Missing 23rd - The Powers That Be (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Missing 23rd

The Powers That Be (2002)


Before I picked this thing up at the local used CD store, I really didn't know much about these guys. What I did know was that these guys had received glowing reviews from zines and friends of mine alike. When I saw this for 4$, I obviously didn't hesitate to buy it.

This is the re-release of their first full-length that came out on Mankind. One word describes this Oxnard, CA outfit: energetic. They combine what sounds like a more raw Good Riddance with old-school influences to craft one great record. The Missing 23rd formed in 1995 with the intentions to play "fast and angry", mission accomplished. Anger without posturing and unneccesary testosterone, positivity without straying into the realm of sounding preachy, this band basically gives us the best parts of hardcore and leaves the excess for other bands to pick up and run with.

The CD starts off with the killer "Abused" which is, as you might expect, about abuse. More specifically it's about a woman being abused by an alcoholic boyfriend/husband. "Don't be a scared girl anymore.." urges Jon, the band's vocalist, as the song comes to a close. Other gems on here include "Hate" a song about racial ineuality and "Control Your Life" a song about drug abuse. I had the impression that "Control Your Life" was just another run of the mill anti-drug song, but the band actually surprised me here. Instead of the typical "don't do drugs at any cost" lyricism, these guys basically say "go ahead, do what you want, just make sure it doesn't run your life". I found that open-mindedness to be quite refreshing.

In a time when alot of bands are showing their disgust towards to downfalls on mankind, it's reassuring to see that atleast someone out there has kept their faith in the human race. "Just imagine if everyone listening to this song right now was united and wanted to change the world" the band proclaims during the song "Hate". These guys are naive and idealistic, but don't come across as sappy. They are sincere and actually mean everything they say, hear that? That's genuine emotion, anger, and optimism.

So basically, be on the look out for these guys if they happen to be playing your town any time soon. Don't hesitate to get this and their other full-length "Crtl-Alt-Del", both are available from Sessions. If you like hardcore, why don't you have this yet?