The Banner - Your Murder Mixtape (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Banner

Your Murder Mixtape (2004)

Blackout! / Brightside

New Jersey's The Banner is a hardcore band that sings about zombies.

Okay, so I'll elaborate a bit.

The Banner are indeed a hardcore band that seem to dwell on the stories of running from zombies, themes of blood and gore, and everything that comes along with it. Although they have trace elements of death metal here and there, their version of hardcore is much closer to Bane than anything. However, they choose to use screaming growls, not yells. The guy sounds like he's ripping his vocal chords to pieces every single song, much like Wes from Give Up the Ghost (or American Nightmare, depending on your bitterness).

Even the lyrics are showcased in bloodstained notebooks, dismembered cassette tapes seeping red from their cracks, notes of paper-clipped plotting and rusty knives. It's not so much the theme that gets stale by the time their cover of Ink & Dagger's "Bloodlust" rolls around, but the monotony just starts to set in. "Die Fighting" pulsates with its rhythmic chant, and the newscaster in "Zombie Onslaught" is a nice touch, but after a few solid breakdowns and unified gang shouts, it's all background noise.

I really want to like this after seeing them drive from Jersey to Long Island in the practical sense of a last minute and still put on a good live show, but I'm not going to lie to you about how solid an album this is, because it's simply not. There's promise, though.

"Red Devil"