Monday, 25 February 2013

Review: The Rival Mob - Mob Justice

The Rival Mob
Mob Justice

Disclaimer: I wrote the following on my iPhone while pacing back and forth in my apartment during my 5th, 6th and 7th consecutive listen to this record. My hope was that it would add to the immediacy that seems appropriate with an album like this. In reality, it made for a bunch of borderline hyperventilating nonsense. I've left it as is for the sake of posterity... good luck. 

I'd like to begin by making a grandiose proclamation: The Rival Mob may well be the best thing in hardcore right now. Furthermore, they are probably the one band going today that I completely believe, 20 years down the line, will still be discussed in the hushed, reverent tones that we now reserve for the likes of Judge and Youth of Today.
Also, just so we're all on the same page, I think Mob Justice is an instant classic. The same way that some of my favorite albums connected with me immediately from the first listen, I knew from track one that this is a record that will be elevated to permanent rotation.
If you're not up for a bunch of hand jobs and Eskimo kisses, you may want to click away at this point.
Everybody good? Good.
At a very basic level, the most honest and accurate review I could concoct for Mob Justice would simply be to scream at the top of my lungs and then punch a fucking hole in the wall. It wouldn't be particularly insightful or clever, but it would sum my feelings up nicely.
The thing that continues to amaze me about this band is how they manage to sound tough (and angry as balls) while making that shit seem so goddamn effortless. I mean, there is a shitload and a half of tough, angry sounding hardcore bands in this world. Yet Rival Mob somehow makes them sound contrived and pose-y every time. And they do it while putting out records that are legitimately fun.
So, yeah... They may hate everything, but they seem to LOVE hating everything. And that's what, to me at least, makes them such any easy band care about. If you could give a fuck less about hardcore, it's easy to look at the insanity and flailing body parts and stomping around that make up any decent show and think: "That's just pointlessly violent. Someone's going to get hurt."
And that's fair enough. But, we do it because its cathartic and, most importantly, FUN. If we were really just a bunch of miserable, angry fucks, we'd be into black metal or Morrissey or something.
Musically, the band picks up nicely from where "Hardcore for Hardcore" left off back in 2010. The album also follows on the heels of the Mob Justice tape that made the rounds last year. People who are familiar with the tape will be pleased to know that the Intro has survived and makes a re-recorded appearance here. It still hits with just as much intensity, and will hopefully continue to serve as track one for their live show going forward. Shit goes HARD.
Boot Party was my favorite song on the demo and it's still a favorite here. The whole thing just demands to be sung along to. The same can be said about just about all 12 songs on the album. That, in my mind, is just about the highest praise you can heap on this type of record. The pits will be nuts.
I've seen people express disappointment that "Philcore for Philcore" didn't find its way to the LP. But, in fairness, that was never really an actual song. It was awesome, but not a song.
Basically, Rival Mob have delivered yet another slab of classic, kick-you-in-the-balls fucking hardcore. This is a record that can and will stand alongside any classic of the genre you care to put it up against. I know it's dangerous to go conferring classic status on a record before giving it a chance to age gracefully. But you can tell 5 minutes into this thing that it MATTERS.
It's as good as "The Kids Will Have Their Say" and "Is This My World."
It's as good as "Start Today" and "Bringin' it Down."
It's as good as "Set it Off" and the H2O self titled record.
"Give Blood," "Background Music," "Promised Kept," "Ill Blood," "A Life Less Plagued," "Lowest of the Low," "Hearts Once Nourished," "Fast Times...," "Witness..." The fucking Minor Threat Discography... It's as good as any of those, and probably better than half of them.
"Calm down, dude. You're being hyperbolic."
Fuck you. No, I'm not. This record is a goddamn beast you'll tell your grand kids about.

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