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Non-Prog CD Reviews

SNAFU (USA)

Present Day Plague

Review by Gary Hill

I like the way this album is divided with bits of almost atmospheric music with spoken parts over the top distributed at various points. It gives it kind of intriguing flow. The biggest problem here is that beyond that, the hardcore punk meet thrash sound lacks some variety. It’s different enough for much of the album to work. I’d say that, this would be stronger if the last couple songs before the closer were dropped. Sometimes less really is more. Still, this is strong, either way.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Subhuman Scum

Dark music like you might here in some horror film opens this. That sound continues as what sounds like some news coverage is played over the top. This is less a real song and more an introductory bit of sound.

Her Dark Past
High energy, raw and angry, this is ferocious hardcore punk.
Death Trip
More of the same, this is frantic and definitely hardcore.
A Trade to Abduct
More thrash than hardcore, this isn’t that far removed from some of the very early Metallica. Add in some modern extreme metal at the end, and you’ve got the idea of this song.
Snakes Eating Snakes
No big surprises here, this is raw, fierce and tasty.
Eternal Nocturnal (Ft. Jason Navarro)
This is much more of an extreme metal kind of song. It’s also one of my favorites here.
Great Deceiver
Metallic music drones forward as a preacher talks about the anti-Christ.
Body of Suffering
This is noisy and extreme. It’s probably more metal than punk, but there is a lot of both in the mix here. The end section is very much a punk death metal.
Digital Prison
The multiple layers of screamed vocals bring anger and energy. The cut pushes forward over a hardcore backdrop. It’s a real screamer.
Unchained
More of a thrashing metal number, this is dense and powerful. 
The Human Infestation (Ft. Shawn Knight)
More soundtrack type music, noisy, but almost textural, serves as the background for a spoken piece. This is rather creepy.
Dead Before Dawn
More extreme metal meets hardcore, this is solid, but the formula is wearing a little thin.
One from None
Pure hardcore, this is pounding, ferocious and quite bombastic.
Better Off
Here we get more of the same. It’s getting a little old by this point.
Prison Warders

And, here we have still more. At least it’s angry in terms of the powerhouse vocals and drumming.

Memphis LSD
Again, we have more of the same. The album would have been much stronger if it had ended a few songs ago.
Try Hard
Here we go again. This feels like just a juvenile stringing together of swear words over some more hardcore punk. It’s definitely the throwaway song here. At least it’s short (45 seconds).
Hand That Feeds
I can say that this song is better than the one that directly preceded it. Beyond that, it’s too much the same thing we’ve heard over and over to make it worthwhile.
Millions of Useless Eaters
At least the closer changes things. It’s another of the scene type pieces with some almost soundbite like spoken words over the top of noisy music. It makes for a good bookend.
 
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