Friday, 18 May 2012

Review: Countdown to Oblivion - Discography

Countdown to Oblivion

Track Listing:
1. Open Season on Hecklers (Part 3) Laso in Ireland
2. Spray P.E.C.
3. To An End
4. Take it Apart
5. Poster Children for Family Values
6. No Brainer
7. Up in Flames
8. The Way It Is
9. I’ll Do Anything
10. More Dead Kennedys (a.k.a. Single Bullshit Theory)
11. Poster Children For Family Values
12. Four Alarm Fire At Lockport Gambino Ford
13. The Way It Is
14. Take It Apart
15. Spray P.E.C.
16. The Fest Sex I Never Had

Let’s start off by getting one thing out of the way.  This is a Chris Colohan-related band.  They are all incredible and I’m not interested in arguing whether The Swarm is superior to Burning Love or if Left for Dead was better than Cursed.  It seems to be a never-ending debate within hardcore circles and such a discussion would diminish and distract from the task at hand:  Talking about how good the Countdown to Oblivion Discography is!

Countdown to Oblivion (or CTO if you are a lazy typist like me) originated as a quazi-side project for some of Ontario Hardcore’s elite in the late 1990’s, including members of Legion, One Blood, Rammer, Teen Crud Combo, Anti-Flag, and The Swarm.  While all of the material that appears on this record was released on a variety of 7 inches and a demo tape, it’s great that Dom from A389 (also a late 90’s Ontario Hardcore alumnus) was able to put it together on a convenient and comprehensive release.

Getting to the actual music, songs like Spray P.E.C. and Poster Children for Family Values exemplify just how well CTO was able to blend pissed-off hardcore and metallic (re: Slayer) riffs.  An entire discography without a song over 3 minutes, CTO was able to capture an attitude and style of music that many other bands attempted, but few were able to master this well.  With two vocalists (Stephe and Chris), CTO was able to deliver vocals so fast and so angry that no single vocalist could possibly deliver (especially live).  The only ‘drawback’ is that because it is a collection of all of CTO’s material, including their demo, there are several duplicate songs.  While some people may be annoyed by this, I don’t see it as a problem at all, as even the duplicates are from different recordings (demo vs. 7inch) and no true ‘discography’ can claim to be complete without including everything there is to offer, even multiple versions of the same song.

If you are a record nerd like me you’ll also love the physical presentation of this record.  The vinyl release came with gatefold packaging and a retrospective look at the band and their history by Colohan himself.  Those of us who ordered early were even able to get the badass-looking blood splatter (red splatter on grey) record, which really completes the package.  If you don’t care about the aesthetics of an album then just download it off of itunes or something.  No harm, no foul.  Either way, it’s in your best interest to own this album.

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