Cold World - Dedicated to Babies Who Came Feet First (Cover Artwork)

Cold World

Dedicated to Babies Who Came Feet First (2008)

Deathwish, Inc.

There seems to be a common understanding that you're either a Cold World fan or you're not, and nothing is likely to sway your opinion one way or the other. Apparently this is not true. I absolutely loved Ice Grillz, and cannot imagine a way in which I could have been more disappointed with their follow up, Dedicated to Babies Who Came Feet First.

Despite the fact that the record is littered with weak, sloppy transitions, and wildly arbitrary tempo changes, in complete disregard of genuine musicality, there are some great riffs (including the song "Roaches and Rats," in it's entirety), but they're nothing original. Think Biohazard (hard) meets Life of Agony (Seriously? Nobody ACTUALLY listened to this band). The production by Billy Graziadei of Biohazard is impressive, but can't save it.

Lyrically, there is just no hope. I mean, the record starts with "Six million ways to die / but you can't choose one / it chooses you / when your times [sic] through." But you know how you overcome terrible lyrics? Great vocals. Does Cold World deliver? Not even close. When Dan Mills does his straight forward, hardcore yell it sounds great, but that seems to be the exception this time around, with the awkward, off key singing parts taking over. And do you know what the worst thing you can do is, if you're trying to hide the fact that you've got a vocally weak record? Have George Hirsch of Blacklisted, probably the best vocalist in hardcore today, do a guest spot on a song. He just destroys it, as usual.

And as for this whole "rap in hardcore" thing, it's nothing new, and is almost never a good idea. What is rare, however, is rap in credible, respectable hardcore, and there's a good reason for that. The chorus for the title track is almost completely pitched up, sampled vocals! Is this the new Kanye West project? My prediction: the next Cold World record will have skits between songs.

The bottom line is, this is what happens when a hype band tries to write a record that matches that hype. Talk about getting it backwards. This band got popular by writing great, straight forward hardcore songs, and that's what they do best. I just wish there had been some indication of that on this album.