The Minor Times
Making Enemies

Wow, Level Plane is on a tear of late what with Anodyne, Coliseum, and now this. And while most of you will instantly dismiss this as yet more “core,” watering down an already saturated US scene, many of you open to the noisy post-hardcore stylisms of Mastodon, Anodyne, Swarm of the Lotus and Burnt By the Sun should look into this bruising debut immediately.

Jagged, mountainous and unerringly abrasive, The Minor Times give a nod to all the aforementioned bands but add a vastly down tuned, earthshaking guitar tone and subtract the mind-bending complexity in favor of a stripped down abrasiveness and discordance that lurches and batters with a simplistic veneer while retaining the genre’s stuttering percussive patterns. Rather than multifarious shifts and time changes, The Minor Times is far more willing to settle into a single pattern and pound the shit out of it until it’s left a bloody pulp. Still far from straightforward though, The Minor Times just seem less obsessed with blinding the listener with complexity, rather dulling your senses with a landslide of boulder like riffs and throaty roars of sociopathic intelligence.

While certainly not as creatively dexterous or even rock guided as Mastodon, The Minor Times have the same ability to creative rolling, lumbering soundscapes of giant riffs (just check out the mid section of album opener “The Pugilist at Work”) and builds that rather than climax with Mastodon’s introspective peaks, crash to the floor in shattered shards of dissonant rage. There are no peaceful lulls or artistic merit that paints canvases of sonic subconscious, but a more visceral, immediate urgency to decimate and churn your tympanic membrane into feta cheese.

Granted, this style of music has possibly peaked with the mighty Mastodon, but when it’s delivered with this much tenacity, The Minor Times’ forsaking of anything remotely commercial is brazenly and painfully raw. Lacking the ambitious interludes and escapism of labelmates Lickgoldensky or the occasional ambience of Anodyne, The Minor Times wade into each track with a virulent agenda, only slowing down for the haunting instrumental duo of album mid point breathers “Whiskey Wednesdays” and “The Eye in the Sky.” Otherwise, Making Enemies remains a steady white water rapid, torrent of frothing noise.

Standout tracks are hard to pinpoint as most of the songs sound fairly similar in gait and acidity, but the mammoth break of the fight inducing “The Pugilist at Work” and earthy drawl of “Glass Ceilings” and “This Lane Only,” struck me as particularly pulse quickening. Truth be told, by the time the superbly named “I Fuck For Money” and patiently abusive “Vertigo” careen by to close out the album, the incessant harshness grates somewhat, as I actually yearn for some sort of dreamy closure to the immense noise, but it never comes as “Vertigo” closes with feedback and sudden silence, leaving the listener in an almost relieved state.

The Minor Times have come up with a pretty explosive debut that may succumb to the vast Mastodon publicity machine, but this is highly recommended to those that find Leviathan a tad too laid back.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 10th, 2004

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