Scraps and Heart Attacks - Still Sick (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Scraps and Heart Attacks

Still Sick (2003)

Triple Crown

For all the national attention Long island has been receiving for its campaign of L.I.E.S. (Long Island Emo with Screams, see here, second paragraph), the hardcore scene seemed to be previously left out a bit...until now. With Triple Crown Records's signing of Scraps and Heart Attacks and Anterrabae, and bands like The Backup Plan and Crime in Stereo suddenly gaining acknowledgement, this integral part of our scene is getting some appropriate widespread recognition. You can trust me when I say that Scraps and Heart Attacks are NOT taking cues from Brand New and / or Taking Back Sunday.

Instead, S&HA rely on a fluid hybrid of older influences like Sick of it All and Kill Your Idols, and the occasional dose of melodic fury, á la the Trustkill roster circa the late '90s. Formerly The Heist, the four piece practically unleash eleven up-the-fuckin'-tempo platelets of transfusions that usually fall in between the one-and-two minute mark. The anger, the yelling vocal style, the flesh-searing guitars; they never, ever let up, and it allows the band to stray from the common chugga-chugga head banging that hardcore can sometimes derive from some of its jock-anthem "roots."

The lyrics somehow make each of its numerous vulgarities absolutely relevant and necessary, commanding the mood and linking the ideas well, unlike the other handful of groups in the genre who do it just for the sake of looking tough. Since the twenty-minute debut contains several re-recorded versions of older songs, some on the self-titled EP released back in May this year on Dead by 23, the lyrics contrast between personal effigies hinging on immaturity ("My Point;" "I don't care about your girlfriend, I don't care about your god, I don't care about your friends that think they're fucking hard"), and lifelong remembrances depicted with intelligent, and sometimes nautical, metaphors, as in "Queen of Prussia;" "I've spent twenty years sailing black seas, and searching for red night skies." "Sea Legs" also displays a similar notion; "this thing of ours is walking the plank, I got off the ship before it sank, and for all I care you could fucking plummet cause your cut throat ways I can't fucking stomach." As you might agree, they can also rhyme better than Dr. Seuss on a train's caboose.

Encrusted with black blood, splattered red, hospital-theme plus signs, and some plain text html code for us dorks, Still Sick's layout is noteworthy as well, especially the cover acting as a window to the facial injuries depicted inside the booklet. Hell, even the red-penned cross out of my bar code matches the art great.

In a year marked by a solid list of hardcore and metalcore albums, I wouldn't hesitate to place this in a top ten list of such. We should expect bigger changes, perhaps explorations, in the near future from these fine young gentlemen, and how.

E-CARD / "Don't F With S" MP3