Government Warning - Executed [7 inch] / Paranoid Mess [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Government Warning

Executed [7 inch] / Paranoid Mess [12 inch] (2009)

Grave Mistake / No Way

Government Warning simultaneously released a new 7" and LP on the same day last year (at least, according to RevHQ), and what's nice is that both have their own exclusive songs. These are both solid in their own right and have the same relative hardcore style, but they don't necessarily seem to be companion releases. Instead, you get two pretty uniform, stand-alone slabs of wax from Government Warning.

First, the Executed 7". This is a fast pair of almost lo-fi, scrappy '80s hardcore tunes from the band, as usual; but unlike 2007's Arrested 7"--which is what I'd last heard of them--this really doesn't sound like the Adolescents at all to me. It reminds me more of the thump of Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown 7" with the snot-punk attitude of the Germs circa (GI), even if that combo doesn't sound entirely different to you. The title track starts out a little more mid-tempo and rock'n'roll-oriented (at least, for GW), before picking up and slamming through an apathetic sounding but rapid pace. For a digital bonus you get a cover of Battalion of Saints' "Modern Day Heroes"; it fits in perfectly with the other two.

Although Paranoid Mess was recorded at the same place, with the same guy, and mastered by a different same guy, it tends to its name well; it just seems to be more abrasive and--perhaps unintentionally--reverb-y. It's got a top-flight speed on plenty of tracks, but the band slow it down a bit for subtly more melodic takes: "Urban Warfield" sounds like a suicidal take on Descendents' "Suburban Home," musically, before the band return to its ugly, screamed quick pacing with the mid-'80s sounding "Endless Slaughter." And if it wasn't for Kenny's more shrill, sharp voice and the band's generally punked-up coating, "Stop Again" could've been left off Age of Quarrel. This variation of older hardcore influences showing on this record (if that's the case, anyway) consequently makes Paranoid Mess a pretty engaging and very cohesive 27 minutes. Other highlights among the 15 tracks here include the raging and oddly catchy "Hour After Hour" and the title track.

Overall, Executed is a straight-up scalpel stab and Paranoid Mess is a longer-lasting burn, albeit one that loses a little steam on its flipside. But much of it manages to be a little more enriching and rewarding. It's a respectful and slight evolution for the band either way, though.

Executed 7": [3/5]
Paranoid Mess: [3.5/5]

Urban Warfield (Paranoid Mess)
Endless Slaughter (Paranoid Mess)
Glued (Paranoid Mess)