Fight Amp - Hungry for Nothing (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fight Amp

Hungry for Nothing (2008)

Translation Loss

New Jersey's Fight Amp used to be known as Fight Amputation; I'm not exactly sure the reasoning for the name change, but it certainly had an effect on me when I read it. You see, the first thing my mind associated with the name Fight Amp was Amrep or Amphetamine Reptile Records. For those that aren't in the know, during the `80s and `90s Amrep released a slew of great metal/garage/noise/hardcore type records from bands like the Melvins, Helmet, Unsane and Today Is the Day. From the sounds of things on Hungry for Nothing, the members of Fight Amp must have spent a fair amount of time listening to those records.

Some bands that take influence from both hardcore and metal can go a long way to shoot themselves in the foot by leaving the bass guitar relatively underused and low in the mix on their releases. The first thing that really sticks out about this record, though, is the rhythm section; it isn't so much that the levels on the bass and drum are pushed to the forefront but the way they work with the guitar really elevates their presence without overpowering. The rhythms seamlessly interlock with the guitar riffs on songs such as ‘What a Drag" and "Lungs" so that when they are given space to manoeuvre on their own they really grab your attention. That isn't to say that the mix isn't important to the greater success of the album, because that would be a lie. The raspy yells that escape from the depths of this record are moved just low enough in the mix to ride the noisy textures of a song like "Dumb Luck" without becoming completely unintelligible -- but keep in mind they still aren't that intelligible.

The innumerable faceless entities crawling their way atop each other in the cover art are a little misleading. You might say that they give off a sense of desperation while the band's lyrics like, "Don't care about a peaceful rest. We're all doomed to death. So you can take your time. I'd rather just not try," convey a more apathetic outlook appropriate for Hungry for Nothing. The vibe is consistently negative and the consistency is always dark and grainy but in a really fun way that the best metal records can capture; I mean, they have a song called "Get High and Fuck" -- if that isn't fun then my name isn't Bernardo O'Higgins.

I wouldn't say Fight Amp are the most original band in the world, but "Lungs" may very well be one of the finest tunes I've heard this year; plus, Hungry for Nothing works because their influences are distilled in just such a way that no single one is too blatant to keep them from carving out their own territory. The songs remain to the point enough for all the head-banging bros out there but I`d also say each packs enough diversity to draw attention from only casual listeners of things noisy/heavy metal. Unless you are the type of person that qualifies music as moshtastic or croosh, this is the type of album that has a lot of potential for staying power.