Aneurysm Rats - Dying to Live [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Aneurysm Rats

Dying to Live [12 inch] (2009)


From the artwork to the general aesthetic and even song length, Aneurysm Rats seemed to promise a harder, stripped-down form of hardcore -- maybe even thrashy? -- than one might expect from the side project of a member of None More Black. And that's nothing against NMB; that band's take on gravelly pop-punk and alt-country influence is a favorite of this writer's. And while a more simplistic, significantly meaner style isn't quite what the listener gets out of Dying to Live, that's no blight against AR either.

Instead, this is a spirited but just angry enough form of semi-melodic hardcore done just well enough to come off enjoyable and impacting. New Mexican Disaster Squad circa Abrasive Repulsive Disorder with more Paint It Black-style rage (who NMB/AR guitarist Colin McGinniss played in for a bit) might be a good description; see, Aneurysm Rats actually sound less like the '80s hardcore bands that are probably influencing them and, thanks to a somewhat clean recording and occasional major chord usage, more like the bands said '80s hardcore acts influenced, y'know?

Dying to Live comes and goes in all of about 15 minutes or so, cruising through sneering, well-integrated mosh parts like that of "Aloha" and "Perfect Skin." "100%ers" doesn't even eclipse the :20 mark, its two lines perhaps certain to cause reactions of..."what?" ("I don't wear a disguise / I like to do my own fucking"). "Death Rattle" seems to bury a mid-'90s NYHC sense in its middle; conversely, "Left to Right" finds a ray of light in its last 20 seconds and consequently resembles Static Radio. "Classic Tammy" has maybe the album's most fun, 'get psyched' part, though ("We need to talk / 'Cause I'm hopeless!").

Easy, breezy; beautiful cover, too.

the first half of the record