CRIMINAL ELEMENT "Crime and Punishment"

ADDICTED TO PAIN "Addicted To Pain"

Couple of bare-knuckled, brawling type bands from the East Coast with new EPS out here. These are the type of dudes you call "street smart" and hope they walk on the opposite side of the street from you.

Up first is Criminal Element, bad-ass bruisers with strong connections to Misery Index and Dying Fetus. That comes across in their rapid-fire death/thrash attack, especially in the grimy growls of the vocalist. The tunes are a stripped-down and bare bones version of what you'd get with Misery Index and Dying Fetus...maybe a bit more thrashy and hardcore instead of death metal. Good, stirring stuff but needing a little extra kick to reach the top of the mob. Look into the title track and "Personal Demons" for the best from them.

Addicted To Pain from Noo Yawk wouldn't back down from a rumble with Criminal Element. Featuring ex-Biohazard brute Leo Curley, the three piece comes from more of a pure hardcore background and grinds out a super-thick and sludgy beatdown. The tunes are almost ridiculously simplistic yet there is something catchy and appealing about "Hear N Now" and the pacey, almost happy-sounding "Going Going Gone". Just four tunes on the EP, but there's enough to make me interested on what an ATP full-length might sound like.

Next time you head down to the docks, blast these on the stereo and watch the rappers flee...