By: Jeremy Fleischer
3 out of 5 Stars
The self-titled debut EP from Denver’s Victim Culture is a full-on, relentless audial assault that only lasts 23 minutes but lingers long after. As FtLP Records Founder Johnny Wilson, who released the album, explains it, “This album is purposely sequenced to be listened to all together, gapless as a whole, song 1 to song 8.” This return to albums as a whole – the anti-single, anti-shuffle album – is a trend right now. I sometimes wonder if this is a ploy from label execs to get folks to buy more than the single, but in this case I think Wilson is being sincere. If you listen to this album from start to finish, you get a sense for the movements and larger rhythms that could get lost in the cacophony of small samples.
Now, if you have an aversion to punk and hardcore, you’re never going to make it past 30 seconds to even consider what I’m suggesting. (See above: “relentless assault.”) But if you do, it’s worth listening to the whole thing and seeing if Wilson and I are both crazy. Yet, even if there isn’t a cohesion across all eight songs, this is one three-piece hardcore band that cares deeply about how it sounds and gives everything the consideration it deserves. There is a thoughtful and dynamic arrangement to the songs, the guitar sound is always stellar, and both guitarist Zack Hill and bassist Connor Hampton have voices any hardcore musician would love to have. They may brutalize listeners, but they do so in a thoughtful, loving manner.