Hailing from the punk rock city of Minneapolis War//Plague delivers two mature crust numbers on this fine slab o’ wax.
The first track ‘Smolder’ starts with a melodic build up before we are warned to “Scream! For your life” and then bursts into a solid wall of pounding, tight crust punk.
The lyrics are bleak and poetically speak of a nuclear apocalypse. But all is not lost! The final lines of the song give a glimpse of hope adding a unique twist to an otherwise very common punk topic. But also, unlike most punk rock songs of war and nuclear death, the lyrics are very descriptive and paint a very vivid image of the carnage at hand as they describe the landscape with a blackened, smoke filled sky as the fires burn and the rivers run read with blood. They do an excellent job of depicting this grisly scene. Flip the record over and we are introduced to a song entitled ‘Malevolent Winds (From the West)’. Not to be confused with winds from any other direction. Personally I prefer westerly winds as the winds from the north spew the stench of the cattle farms north of Denver across the city making the whole place smell like cow shit. This song dives into a cool, upbeat, yet melodic intro that transitions into a very MISERY inspired riff that drives the rest of the song.
The vocal duties are led by lead screamer Lutz who also plays guitar and he is helped by Leffer (other guitar) and Chris the drummer. Sam the bass player opted out of pitching on vocals with the others. Most of the vocals are bellowed out in a desperate shout with only hints of a lower throat growl here and there.
Musically WAR//PLAGUE come from the AMEBIX, AXEGRINDER, MISERY school of crust and that is just fine by me as that is right up my alley! The production is killer and like I said before there is a very mature feel to this record. My only complaint is that there are only two songs. I guess that’s all the more reason why I should pick up their new split with UK crusters POLICE BASTARD. Again, this is an excellent release and I look forward to hearing more from these guys.