Who Fucked The Culture Up? (Gloom Records)
By: Vinnie Apicella
JBA's not quite as slick as their name sake -- that would be John Brown and his army, for those war historians among us. The man and the "army" mob he created managed to successfully fend off the Confederate contingent during that pivotal time in U.S. history. And so borrowing a bit of the brashness, not to mention "brass" from their chosen symbol, JBA brings plenty of firepower to promote their cause effectively making the raid on Harper's Ferry look like Playtime for toddlers once they're plugged in. Steeped in a "We The People--" and think for yourselves perspective, and fending off authorial adversaries with mile a minute bursts of short range artillery, the songs are aggressive and brutally direct with an almost deafening intensity further exploited by crude production and Sergeant D-inspired rage. "Playing With Fire," "Fitting The Mood," and "Clever Like Shit" open the wound with a scathing similarity, seemingly outgunning one another, indistinguishable in intensity and independent thought. JBA does a cover of Gang Green's "Kill A Commie," which if you blink, you'll miss it; Expect no variation here, only an even higher intensity yell than before and aided by any number of in-studio drunks for full rousing effect. Great tune, yet considering their N.Y.H.C. upbringing -- that's Albany, to be exact; hey, have you ever felt the winters up there -- surprisingly void of an ol' Agnostic Front, S.O.I.A cover. There's no let up from end to end, and the end comes quickly thirty minutes after the barrage began. It's Hardcore for the listening impaired-- cause trust me, if you had none going in, you'll have plenty of problems going out. Do yourself a favor and read the lyrics; there may be no straight answer for who fucked the culture up, but you'll damn sure know that it is! For more on the band, the myth, and the man, check out www.gloomrecords.com... Or simply skim your Civil War-era history books and really prepare for a fright.
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