Thursday, January 12, 2017

CD Review: ICONICIDE Give Me Extinction Or Give Me Death!

Give Me Extinction Or Give Me Death!
All Rites Perverse
Give Me Extinction Or Give Me Death! Is Iconicide’s eighth full length CD, and their twenty-first release since their inception in 1988. Be forewarned before reading on: this is in no way a college pop-punk band. If that’s what you’re looking for you should look elsewhere because this album offers nothing sweet or pleasant regarding society today. It’s a vision of America from the point of view of an angry punk whose environment growing up was abandoned squat houses, junkies and police brutality. Add the systematic gentrification of the city and the increase of media spin and you’ll get a band whose resolve has been bolstered to oppose the current status quo. The songs on this recording resonate of a disillusionment with a society that discourages independent thought more vehemently than ever. Remember the thrash and hardcore scenes of the late 80s? This band shows it has not only survived events of the last twenty years (such as the Quality Of Life program initiated by Giuliani) but thrived and grown on its own terms. The bio accompanying this album describes the band as being “a darker, more vicious and more world weary version of Crass.” This is a pretty accurate description and calls so many pictures to mind of going to shows and being a part of what’s going on in the city, from The Ritz to squat shows on avenues A to D. I was reminded of the first Squat Or Rot shows I attended when the band formed, at a time I had no idea how entrenched the scene in the city would become. Iconicide have been around for so long and hearing them for the first time makes me wonder why I didn’t get into them much earlier. If you like Crass, The Exploited, Discharge and Nihilistics you should give this band a listen. It’s a call to arms for those of you who are still thinking, not being lulled into complacency, and one of the most important hardcore albums to come out in years. I last experienced something this brutally honest reading A Rebel Life: Murder By The Rich. Vocalist Chris the Antimessiah growls diatribes about gentrification, violence, dysfunctional families, suicide, media sensationalism and religious persecution, laying it all bare with no effort to whitewash the scenery. While he does so the band behind him deliver a dirty, gritty and grimy backdrop that lies between punk, hardcore, reggae and metal, with some jazz, dub and reggae added. Just Dead Bodies, Nobody Moves, 99 Per Cent Crap, Crime And Punishment, Go To Hell, Suicidal, Trust Fund Junkie and Die For Your God are not pretty pictures as we have been shown on TV and in magazines. Of those songs I mentioned, one line stands out from 99 Per Cent Crap: “If you look deep inside you just might find something real... but I doubt it.” This reminded me strongly of old school fare like Cro Mags’ Seekers Of The Truth (If you read the lyrics to that song you’ll know what I mean). In this sense if you look past the angst and anger there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Just Dead Bodies (The Ballad of 5th and C)
2. Nobody Moves
3. 99 Per Cent Crap
4. Crime and Punishment
5. Twelve Step
6. Choose Death
7. Go to Hell
8. Suicidal
9. Trail of the Beast
10. Give Me Extinction or Give Me Death!!
11. Trust Fund Junkie
12. Higher Self
13. Maelstorm '85
14. Scared Sacred
15. Die for Your God
16. Friendly Fire

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for the writeup! Here's where to get the album: