Friday, September 27, 2013

Vinyl Album of the Day is REMEMBERING NEVER - "God Save Us"

Vinyl Album of the Day is REMEMBERING NEVER - "God Save Us". In February 2006, Florida's Hardcore/Metal bruisers, REMEMBERING NEVER unleashed their 3rd full length album "God Save Us" on CD via Ferret Records. The album saw the band refining direction the took with their previous album, 2004's "Women and Children Die First". That album was where RN really went for a heavier more violent sound, as well as forgoing much of the aesthetics of their 2002 debut full length "She Looks So Good In Red", in favor of more socially conscious and confrontational subject matter and lyrics. Featuring strong, intelligent, well written lyrics packed with meaning and a message, RN began to set themselves apart from much of the Hardcore Scene's trends of the time that seemed to be stuck on songs of heartache, teen angst whining, and an infatuation with fashion and appearance. With "Women and Children Die First" and "God Save Us", REMEMBERING NEVER set out to give meaning and a message back to Hardcore, a genre that once was filled with both. On these albums RN touched on Gay Rights, Animal Rights, Straight Edge, Politics, Women's Rights, opposition to Religion, and even the Hardcore scene its self. "God Save Us" would see the band streamline things to a degree as its a bit less technical and chaotic, while certainly no less heavy, and it features bigger, more memorable Choruses that border on being hook like while still being utterly savage.

As mentioned "God Save Us" was initially released only on CD via Ferret Records, then later in '06, Remembering Never's vocalist "Mean" Pete Kowalksy would release the Vinyl version of "God Save Us" as the first release on his new label Dead Truth Recordings. There were 1000 copies pressed total and of that 1000 there were 100 Green, 100 Red, 100 White, 300 Purple, and 400 Trash (which is a mixture of all of the other colors). The Vinyl version of "God Save Us" would feature a number of differences from the original CD version of the album. It has completely different artwork, the songs are in a completely different order, and there is an exclusive song, "Celebrity Holocaust", which is only available on the Vinyl version of "God Save Us". However, due to time constraints 2 of the songs that appeared on the original CD version of the album were left off of the Vinyl version, these are "Little Hitlers" and "T.H.U.G.LI.F.E.". Both are great songs, but with the completely different order of the tracks on the LP, their absence is not as obvious as it would be if the songs were in the same order as the CD and they were left off.

Side A opens with "Runner Up in a Shit Eating Contest", kicks things off in violent fashion. The track begins quick and from there kind of alternates between faster techy/grindy parts and total moshtastic breakdown sections which works as the chorus basically. The track closes out with a more melodic section that is alot different from the rest of the track, but works and shows that Pete can still bust out the clean vocals. "The Goddamn Busy Signal" is up next and keeps things barreling along, with quick paced savagery during the verses and a heavy, chugging chorus with some spectacular lyrics that promote Gay Rights and call out our "leaders" for trying to legislate a person's love life. Now we get to "Please Dont Let My Mother Read This", which is short blast of metallic hardcore with grind overtones, some quick double bass work, and furious riffing, all capped off with Pete's vitriolic hate. Following this is "Celebrity Holocaust" the Vinyl Only bonus track. Its a killer track that is heavy as fuck throughout although there is a semi melodic section in the middle. The lyrics are directed at the bullshit we call "Reality TV". "Suicide Hotline on Speed Dial" is a call for change, and features some interesting guitar work while still maintaining RN's overt heaviness. Side A closes things out with "White Devil", which is one of my favorite RN tracks of all time. Its absolutely perfect. Its ungodly heavy, and drops bombs on poverty, religion, government and more with some of Mean Pete's most awesome and direct lyrics. For example: "My prayers were never answered. Nothing filled my empty hands. That's when I realized god either hated me or was a fucking lie. All the work and prayers burn. A waste of sweat and breath. God turns his deaf ear to me like I'm the one that doesn't exist." and  "Everything I have I've stolen.Why should I compromise my freedom. Faith built on lies; you've turnedon me. Fuck god. Fuck government".

Side B kicks things off with "Selma" which is fast and brutal. The song is inspired by Pete's mother and the time and effort she put forth to raise him and his siblings., but in the bigger picture its also for all the single mothers, fatherless children, and women in general. "Slaughterhouse Blues" is a monster track that has one of the biggest hooks on the record with "Murder is a family value in almost every home, Murder is family value three times a day". Its a powerful and crushingly heavy song that drives home the reality of the torture and death that countless animals face everyday so that humans can eat meat. This is another of my favorite tracks on this album. "Con Artist" is next, and is actually the opening song on the CD version. Its a killer, driving track that puts the hammer down on religion, and is chock full of killer riffing. "Pocket Full of Dirt" is up next and is a kind of ode to living on the rode, playing this kind of music, and the amazing family and friends that take care of one another within this scene. Its fast and maybe the most "Punk Rock" or traditional Hardcore song on the album, even thought it still has other elements. Its also the shortest song on the entire album at 1:20. The intense and violent political jam, "Judas Will Swing"  follows and is another favorite of mine. Its punishing, fast, and has some awesome lyrics such as :"Tied to the chair. Piss running down your legs. Two black eyes and a bucket of gasoline. Shoving a pistol in the face of the enemy to show him fear he's never known. This is justice for every soul that's been condemned, the beginning and the end, at 1600." When the album was written and released our sitting president was the king of shitheads, George W. Bush, in case you needed some context. Next up is "Gangsta Rap & Peppermint Schnapps" which is one of the heaviest songs on the record, which is really saying something. In the liner notes, this song is described as a sort of follow up to "Suicide Hotline on Speed Dial" and is also described as a sort of "end of the world scenario" kind of tune. Finally, the record closes with "Off Key & Outta Line", which also closes the regular CD version. It is the only part of the tracklist that is the same on both the CD and LP. Musically, its again heavy as shit, combining elements of Extreme Metal, Hardcore, and more. Pete busts out some clean vocals at the start of the track but soon returns to his usual harsh vocals, although he brings the clean vox back toward the end of the track.

Since this album and the touring that followed things have been fairly quiet in the RN camp until fairly recently. The next album has long been talked about, with a title of "This Hell Is Home" but there wasn't much concrete info until recent times. The album is finished as there are actually a couple new songs online as of this writing so it will be awesome to hear Remembering Never again and to see what they've come up with in the last 7 years. They have been one of my favorite "Hardcore" bands since the release of "Women and Children Die First" and as much as I love that record, they were somehow able to match it with this one, "God Save Us", and so even though its been a long time coming, I have no doubt that "This Hell Is Home" will remind everyone why RN is needed and why they're go down as one of the best Hardcore bands of their time.

Hear some jams, including brand new ones:
Purchase the LP here:
Official Page here:

Andy Sweitzer

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