Punk recordings can suffer when they fail to capture a band's in-concert aggression. Duress's sets were fun (read: scary) to behold. Bodies and objects flying every which way, instruments and sweat. And then there's me standing in the back thinking about how it could possibly sound good at home on vinyl or mp3. Duress made it happen.
The speed stands out at first. The record don't slow until the last song. The vocals are presented in the center of the mix, and Matt's harsh phrasing gives the 7" coherence. The drums pound in a similar way, often to accent the vocals. Kyle, the guitarist, rarely plays one riff for long, swiftly hopping from idea to idea while maintaining Duress's dedication to speed. The result is music that sounds like it could come unhinged at any time. By playing riffs way up on the neck, usually at the end of the song or passage, he rockets songs into outer space while the rhythm section focuses on pounding them back to Earth. Nowhere is this more prevalent than on my standout, "Allergic to Hope." In "Guilt," the affected guitar makes way for overdriven bass, and the conflict between these sounds almost, just almost, epitomizes the struggle in the pit. I can see it now as I saw it then.
My favorite 7" of 2010. Please sell me a physical copy, as I slept.
Get it here!