My Bitter End - The Renovation (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

My Bitter End

The Renovation (2007)


I just got a new job over at my university's computer center. I haven't started yet, but I'm sure my training will involve an introduction to nerdy internet talk. When I listen to My Bitter End, one "word" comes to mind: br00tal. The Renovation is absolutely br00tal, and dices between orgasmic technical guitar playing and sonic mishmashes that make listening an excercise in tolerance.

I would reckon drummer Mike Ranne goes through double-bass pedals like toilet paper. The quick, heavy thud of the instrument is a constant in The Renovation, carrying the songs from fierce, growly attacks, to melodic walls of thunder, to rapidfire breakdowns. "Comfortable with Corpses" employs an interesting rhythm that pairs handily with jagged guitar playing, slicing with precision and creating one of the most engaging licks on the album. When I think about the guitar playing on The Renovation, the word that comes to mind is "epic." No internet lingo needed, it's just fucking epic.

However, the majority of the songs on the album are not at all enjoyable to listen to due to the incoherent, metal-belch vocals. Unlike those whose complaints hinge from "Wahh, you can't even understand what they're saying!," my main problem is that the unpleasant vocals are unoriginal and draw attention away from the precision musicianship. When it comes to indecipherable barking, Caninus did it better.

The Renovation is also painfully drawn out. The songs would be tolerable if cut down to power-violence time, but at an average of four minutes apiece, the audio assault turns listening into drudgery. There is also three tracks of filler, the most notable of which is "Dirt Helmet," otherwise known as two minutes of light acoustic before the sonic bludgeoning of "A Proper Sendoff."

My Bitter End is like one of those bands you hear playing off in the distance at one of those small stages at Warped Tour that you never go watch. The guitar playing sounds pretty good, but the only guys in the audience either have their hands on their knees, whipping people in the face with their long stringy hair, or are flying through the "dancefloor" like Tae Kwon Do dropouts. (The band actually tried getting on Warped Tour this year via the SmartPunk stage voting contest, but came in 118th place and decided to go on indefinite hiatus instead.)