RIFU - Bombs for Food, Mines for Freedom! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Bombs for Food, Mines for Freedom! (2006)

Go Kart

It's really disappointing when a great band writes mediocre songs. All the pieces are in place for RIFU -- they've got the intensity, the intelligence, and the overall musical ability to write some dynamite hardcore punk tracks. They've got the proverbial kick to never stop bringing that ferocious attitude to you; the problem is there's not many degrees of variance in that intensity.

RIFU are a band stuck in fourth gear; fast and powerful enough that you won't be wishing they kicked it up a notch, but unable to fully craft that energy into many different styles and tempos.

There's plenty of flashes of brilliance on Bombs for Food, Mines for Freedom!, make no mistake, but the blistering solo in "Laugh Ourselves to Death" sounds too much like a solo in "Our Relief" to be able to become that excited about either. Many instances on this album replicate at least one other, and that level of familiarity between songs keep any from breaking out of the mold and becoming truly dynamic.

That complaint aside, this Norweigian foursome can crank the distortion and really let go like few of their contemporaries. The muddy-sounding riffs are the perfect accompaniment for the searing vocals and drums that pound beneath both of them. Singer Oyvind Sarheims sounds equally at home in a variety of inflections, from the near-screech of the cascading "The Plague We've Become" to the punk shouting of "Sold Out World." RIFU goes full-board all the time, and with songs like that, nobody can deny it works. They are intense, they are hard-hitting, and they are getting the most out of every volitale moment.

The band's shortcomings can be summed up entirely in one word: challenge.

It doesn't seem they challenge themselves to stretch beyond the two- or three-minute hardcore punk song they excel at. RIFU have a lot of talent and the fighting spirit to bring it all out, but more of a change in dynamics would do them wonders.