COMPACT JUSTICE? - Stand Up In Your Nomansland

Compact Justice? - Stand Up In Your Nomansland

7 songs
22:11 minutes
***** ****
I.C. Recordings


The label info sheet was threatening us with a combination of nu school hardcore and screamo. As much as I appreciate that kind of music, I am always glad to find a band trying to make something truly new. Compact Justice?, a band formed in the Eastern parts of Germany in 1996, manages to sound quite original, compared to what most hardcore bands are doing these days. Already the opener Lining Letters made me think of early Black Flag. Not only did the vocalist sound like a young Henry Rollins, but even the guitars had a certain Greg Ginn jazziness to them. The following songs are longer, most of the time above the three minutes limit, which is explained by the fact that Compact Justice? care more for atmosphere than for speed. The abrasive vocals are backed by a combination of guitar, bass and drums that leaves me breathless. The guitar plays choppy chords, at times rocking really cool, while the bass adds nice melodic touched during the quieter parts. The drums back everything up with a solid yet varied rhythm work. It's hard to point out a highlight, because the whole mini-CD works as one coherent piece of art. There's little obvious melody in the vocals, and what there is lies hidden behind a veil of rocking psychedelic instrumentation so unlikely for this genre. This is what VoiVod or Meshuggah could have sounded like, had they been hardcore. In times like these where you get half a dozen new metalcore bands every week, it's refreshing that there are still bands like Compact Justice? who manage not only to be really great in what they do, but even very original. The world needs to hear more of these guys in the future!

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