"No Cure for Death"

by El Chief

Sect are pissed and they want to knock you out. Clocking in at a cool 17 minutes, the album "No Cure for Death" aims to make quick work of you, in the same way Iron Mike Tyson wasted no time knocking his opponents clear out of the ring. In fact, this record feels like Iron Mike. It charges forward at the bell (or in the case a quick burst of feedback), knowing it must devastate you at the outset. Because the spell gets broken if you get a chance to breathe. Then you can see through the seams and realize the truth: This is all might, no style.

Hardcore is never about musicianship. It's just strumming, d-beats and angry vocals. Sect knows this, and to their credit, most of the tracks never try to be anything other than quick jabs setting up the haymaker we all know is coming. Only that's precisely where Sect fails. The final tracks of "No Cure for Death" never deliver the knockout blow. Instead, the fury withers on the vine during the LP's only track longer than two minutes, the closer "Avoidance Ritual."

Sect has a tremendous pedigree, featuring musicians from Earth Crisis, Cursed and Fall Out Boy (what the living hell?). I'm a huge fan of their straight-ahead sound, while wishing they'd drop the reliance on squelches and feedback. Nearly one-third of the tracks here close with an ear-splitting whine. There's little wrong with incorporating the tone from time to time. But leaning on it too much gives this the unintentional comedy that exemplified the end to every AC/DC song in the Brian Johnson era. 

I also love the lyrics, which become increasingly important to a band throwing most craft out the window. "Avoidance Ritual" completely captures the woe-is-me angst of every teenager: "I'll be your Judas thrown under the bus/The hated one to break the news there's only two rooms in your Father's house." Sure, it's over the top, but that's exactly the point.