Pipedown - Mental Weaponry (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Mental Weaponry (2003)


You know, as much as I dislike Anti-Flag, I do have to commend them for picking up some quality bands for their label. Bands like Much the Same, Thought Riot, Inhuman, New Mexican Disaster Squad and many more have been quite pleasing to my ears. Now I will add Pipedown to that list.

Right from the start (well, after the sound clip anyway) I'm reminded of "Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes" era AFI and the newer wave of melodic hardcore bands such as Rise Against. The music is darkly melodic; the vocals are very similar to those of Davey Havok, before he decided to become a Fran Drescher impersonator, and the drums rarely slow down. The album as a whole is fairly dark, fitting the lyrical content, I suppose. Opening the albums insert gives immediate clues to the band's intentions, with quotes from the likes of John Locke, Sir Francis Bacon, and of course, Martin Luther King. Lots of bands quote famous people, but Pipedown went a little further and included a little bit of background information about each person. I find this to be more interesting than simply quoting someone.

The band's lyrics don't stray too far from the standard political rantings of their brethren, but they do at times show that they have a sense of humor. Such as in the song "Muppet Goes To Washington": "Another note to self today, now we've found a reason to believe that Jim Henson is under control. We were told by the government that he had died, but they had sent him underground. Plan a puppet, cheap Texan accent…" Odd, I thought Henson's final work was creating the lead singer from Nickelback, who says music doesn't teach you anything?

I miss older AFI, and although band isn't identical to (they have a wider range of influences, it seems) they fill the niche rather well. This isn't one of the top albums of the year, but if you like fast, melodic hardcore, it's certainly worth a listen.