Friday, February 3, 2012
Battery - Until the End
If I ever had to pick a best or favorite record from the 90's, it would come down to Battery's "Until the End", By the Grace of God's "fortheloveofindierock" EP, and Snapcase's "Progression Through Unlearning", with an honorable mention to Ten Yard Fight's "Hardcore Pride" EP (In My Eyes "Nothing to Hide" misses by a year- damn!).
"Until the End" is quite possibly the most played record that I own. For quite a number of years this album and the aforementioned By the Grace of God EP were almost daily listening, and with good reason-
Great lyrics, a passionate singer whose voice was always full of emotion, and music that was fast but able to hold a tone of heaviness when needed. The Until the End tracks that were actually recorded for the lp have an almost punky feel to them, as if the band blended punk and a metal sound to come out the other end with a punchy hardcore sound (the last 3 tracks actually appear on the 'Let the Past Go' EP and aside from These Are the Days, have a much heavier sound to them similar to the first lp "Only the Diehard Remain").
Brian McTernan had a way with getting his emotions across in his words and his voice (as he similarly did when playing guitar and occasional vocals in previous band Ashes), and Ken Olden as always, has a way to get the music to where it needs to be. The band was rounded out at the time by the equally noteworthy bass of Ben Chused (Ten Yard Fight) and drummer Jason Hamacher (Frodus, Combatwounded Veteran).
What has always set Battery apart for me, and kept them a lasting band some 15 years later, is that the music remains fluid to time- it isn't so rigidly defined by any time period, be it the heavy chugga, chugga of the 90's, or the youth crew revival that took off right around the time Battery disbanded. The lyrics still resonate, so many of the subjects in it are still things I have feelings about, even if some of them aren't necessarily relevant to my life anymore (I will be 33 tomorrow, I've moved on from feeling like the outcast kid in Has-Been, though it is still a indulgent thought to think about fat ex-high school jock stars as fat, balding used car salesmen), the lyrics and the emotion found within is about as close to timeless as I could ever call a hardcore/punk record.
Even when talking about things like the hardcore scene (In Our Hands, That'll Never Be Me, Until the End) it isn't 'rah rah rah- stabbed in the back- fingerpoint!' The same can be said for the emotional and personal issues discussed throughout, with the most glaring probably being the third track, "Why is She in Pain?" Tackling image issues and perception that rail thin, almost starving female figure is what should be held as the epitome of beauty; and more than that, accepting the responsibility the author has unwittingly played in that process.
At the end of it all, what makes Battery so incredibly important to so many is one shared thing that in all of my conversations with Battery fans, they just can't quite put their fingers on- the overall band and its emotion and feelings conveyed through their songs... all the records were good, but Until the End is the best one. Enjoy!
DOWNLOAD: Battery - "Until the End"
*That was weird...download link FIXED*