The Minor Times - Making Enemies [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

The Minor Times

Making Enemies [reissue] (2005)


With the Minor Time's new album, Summer of Wolves, set to come out soon, now would be as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with their 2004 debut full-length Making Enemies, which was originally released on Level Plane and subsequently reissued on Prosthetic following the band's label switch. It's a heavy, abrasive, confrontational hardcore record that is as smart as it is tough, going for your brains as well as your throat, and listening to its combination of skin-flaying riffage and biting lyrical wit is a lot like getting punched in the face and viciously insulted at the same time. And liking it.

Frontman Brendan McAndrew's sounds like he eats glass for fun, and his intelligent yet pissed off lyrical style could be compared to that of Keith Buckley or Wes Eisold. He starts off bellowing the words, "Fuck me? No, fuck you" on "The Pugilist at Work," and only gets more scathing from there. While they're certainly complex, the Minor Times keeps things listenable and avoids being excessively technical. Think Botch or Coalesce, only slightly stripped down and a little more groove-oriented. They aren't afraid to repeat a good riff a few times, and they don't waste any time on unneccesary breakdowns or generic mosh parts.

If there's a criticism to be made about Making Enemies, it is that each song on here follows a similar pattern of noisy, off-time riffs with about the same tempo and tone, and putting this on your headphones feels a lot like putting your ear up to a jackhammer for half an hour. There are some parts here and there that break up the flow of things a little, like the creepy female computer-voiced interlude "Eye in the Sky," but after a while it can begin to sound like a little too much of the same thing on repeat.

That's a small criticism to make however, and it could just as well be argued this album is just really consistent. There's not a single bad song on this disc, and it flows extremely well from one track to the next. While they may not be the first band to play noisy, mathy hardcore, the Minor Times are one of the better bands playing this style today, drawing on the right influences without being too derivative. This is a solid purchase if you've got a taste for this kind of stuff, and it's held up well over the past few years since it's been released. Thumbs up.