Various - This is Solid State Volume 4 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


This is Solid State Volume 4 (2003)

Solid State

The fourth installment of Solid State's compilation series offers up an eleven-track sampler of choice cuts from releases within the last year and a half. The series was never big on unreleased songs, and it continues here, but this time around includes a DVD with over a dozen music videos and some live footage from Furnace Fest 2002.

The collection of songs on the sampler itself offer a solid (no pun intended) mix from the label's roster, punk / metal / hardcore hybrids abound, but each leaning heavily on one element or the other. Beloved puts forth one of the highlights, "Only Our Faces Hide," from their last release, Failure: On, and so does Norma Jean with "Face:Face," the notorious opening track from Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child, with its repeatedly screamed bridge line of "she simply will not die!" "The Changing of Times," the title track from Underoath's album, has some swiftly-changing dynamics.

A couple videos from the DVD really stand out. Underoath's decently produced outlay contains an underlying concept that has the band playing on farmland during the day to represent the life of the video's protagonist, and like many of the bands, play in a warehouse at one point, but in this case to represent the character's delusion of death. Crisply shot in a laundromat, Beloved plays to a few oblivious customers in the best video, "Aimless Endeavor," while Mewithoutyou's groovy tune "Bullet to Binary" has them rolling around in a grassy field. The only strong point of the second half is Stretch Arm Strong's "For the Record," appropriately shot before a tight, unified home crowd in South Carolina, although the "gang-vocal" bridge sounds empty only being sung from the studio by about five guys and then put to footage of them doing it before an entire audience. It is at least made up for later, when just the crowd provides the vocals for it in the Furnace Fest footage on the bonus section, which includes about two songs from six bands, including Zao, Stretch Arm Strong, and Living Sacrifice.

For people big on Solid State, this is a must. For the casual hardcore fan, it's worth it if you've got a few extra bucks.

The Agony Scene - "We Bury Our Dead at Dawn"

Dead Poetic - "The Corporate Enthusiast"
Zao - "Resistance" (Real Audio)

Demon Hunter - "Infected"
Stretch Arm Strong - "For the Record"
Stretch Arm Strong - "Second Chances"