Defcon 4 - File Under Fuck (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Defcon 4

File Under Fuck (2006)

Black Box

There's something to be said, even on punk and hardcore records, for good production. I'm not talking about the vocoded crystalline gloss-over that a band like Fall Out Boy gets when the music gets to that stage of recording, but it's at the very least nice if all the musicians are treated to being on an equal plane.

In regards to Defcon 4's File Under Fuck, the terrible production is just the start of their worries. The beginning of the record, though, it's what's most noticeable. You don't need to go more than a song or two in to realize how low the vocals are in the mix, and how detached they feel from guitar, bass, and drums, none of which are that cohesively strung together to begin with. It's an awkward mess of music that only gets further exposed as time goes on, with the vocals really starting to grate on the nerves before the record is even halfway over. In the beginning, the vocals are rough and intense, and the production doesn't hurt them that much, but with each passing track they become more of a jumbled and indistinguishable mess overshadowed by chord progressions that certainly don't improve the matter. The arrangements sound like they were thrown together an hour before the band came in to drunkenly record this, and a good amount of it is literally un-listenable.

It takes a lot in the realm of punk and hardcore for me to regard something as not even fit to listen, but the trash compactor vocals and lazily thrown together riffs on songs like "One of the Girls" are completely unforgivable. There's literally not so much as a rhythm in the entire goddamn song. The vocals remind of a hoarse man on his deathbed throwing up his intestines, yet remarkably, that's still done at a much quicker pace than the few alternated power chords strewn together by the rest of the band.

So on second thought, I appreciate the recording style. I don't wish to hear this in any more clear a way, because then I'd be right along side the man in a hospital bed hacking up his insides.