Backstabbers Inc
While You Were Sleeping EP

“Shoot to kill, or don’t shoot at all.” This excerpt from the sample that opens Backstabbers Inc.’s newest helping of heart-exploding hardcore catharsis is probably the most appropriate way to describe the attitude these five crazy kids from New Hampshire play their music with.

While You Were Sleeping is a total grind/thrash/hardcore blur of swinging instruments, percussion seizures and volcanic fury. Featuring former members of Piecemeal and the raw grind/emo band Hassan-I-Sabbah, they will grab you buy the throat and make sure you listen. There is no need to drop names or make comparisons, because you will hear them when you this fucker of an EP. If I owned a club, I would pay for these guys to fly up and play in my neighborhood. Flights, hotels, everything.

 These guys have to have a live performance to die for. But to make a u-turn, naming bands whose styles could be found here and there on this EP is pointless simply because it would make it too easy for nay sayers to blow off Backstabbers Inc. as yet another “screamo” band (whatever the hell that means), or “crazy hardcore” band out to milk Converge’s legacy for all it’s worth. The sheer ferocity and force of this release is enough to rave about. Not to mention that the band are intent on using their artwork and lyrics to their best advantage, reversing the contemporary idea of covers and back covers for the EP (you’ll see what I mean when you see it), and using extra commentary for each of the songs lyrics also shows that these guys are doing this for a reason, not just because they are young and have nothing else to do.

With the six songs displayed, the Backstabbers glue together jagged pieces of sick-ass grind, head-cracking technical hardcore, and some pretty impressive structuring as far as speed changes (a whole mess of them) and bloodthirsty breakdowns go. The end result is smashed to bits any way, and though there is plenty of tight musicianship and ideas, the frenzied playing on the EP make the songs sound on the verge of falling apart (this isn’t really a bad thing, in actuality it makes it sound crazier). With song titles like “Concrete Proof on the Educational Value of Snuff Films”, “File Under Hostility”, and usage of great samples from “Fight Club” and “Scent of a Woman” (the latter being a bit over extended), the band’s sense of humor adds a darkened effect to the already aggressively frustrated lyrical approach and the dangerous vibe of the music. Get this shit while it’s still secret…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Julian Zurdo
April 25th, 2001

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