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8 out of 10
'Incommunicado' means that you're without the means or right to communicate, which doesn't apply to the Pittsburgh five piece of the same name because they're one of the most exciting punk and hardcore bands of the year. Their anti-war, anti-Big Business, anti-Republican message might be one we've heard before but the way they deliver it has won them fans in Anti-Flag and Against Me! They've got passion, intensity and sincerity, and combine elements of some the best (And most politicised) punk rock bands of the past decade: At The Drive-In, The Bled, Gallows, Million Dead, Rage and System Of A Down. There are similarities too between vocalist Chris Feigh and Cedric Bixler-Zavala, with 'Writing For Profits And Belt Buckles' being particularly reminiscent of 'Relationship Of Command'.
They can pick out a good melody amongst the noise too, just as Nirvana or Green Day can, like on the Fugazi-esque 'Electrode Cathode' and 'Detachments', where the guitars and rhythm section go off on completely different tangents but meet in middle brilliantly. 'Salt'll Break Your Teeth' recalls RATM with Feigh's venomous shouting-cum-rapping, but it's 'Knee Deep' and 'Fingernails On The Chalkboard' that contain lines which will cut closest to the bone of the American establishment: "A plane, collision, a bomb, a war, unjust decision", Feigh rasps on the latter. Ouch.
It's all over in less than 30 minutes, but they still fit plenty in that shows of their skills. 'Ratings' has hints of the angsty country rock of Murder By Death, while the understated 'Carlos De Inferno' could be sung round an alternative campfire. Definitely ones to keep an eye on and put a fist in the air for.
2. Writing For Profits And Belt Buckles
3. Electrode Cathode
4. Faces To The Floor
6. Knee Deep
7. Carlos De Inferno
9. Salt'll Break Your Teeth
10. Regret Connector
12. Fingernails On The Chalkboard