Reviews 108 A New Beat from a Dead Heart


A New Beat from a Dead Heart

Eleven years! It has been roughly eleven years since 108 last released a studio effort discounting last year's one-oh-eight demo. That is a long time between albums; the really scary aspect of that factoid for me is that I remember purchasing that last record when I was in high school. So much has changed in the landscape of underground music in the interim that it is exceedingly interesting to hear the voice that 108 brings to the table. Will it be the same impassioned fury that the band had during their initial run, or will that voice be tempered by time?

Almost non-stop from beginning to end, A New Beat from a Dead Heart is a consistent, fierce album that intimates the feelings that the band seem to have over the course of roughly forty-five minutes. The chanting giving way to the dirty sounding bass line with the increasing volume of the squealing guitars that opens "Declarations on a Grave" quickly reminds us that this is 108. By the time that Rob Fish's (formerly of Resurrection and Judas Factor) vocals kick in, there is no denying that they are back. The screams of "So much for being free," found in the song "Guilt," serve to accent the idea that the band is not only back but pretty angry as well. "Three Hundred Liars" gives us an angular guitar riff that Vic (108's guitarist and former member of Inside Out, Shelter, Burn, Beyond, etc) has written previously, but this time around there seems to be a different type of feeling coming through the playing, perhaps as a result of the production of this record (courtesy of Kurt Ballou). "Martyr Complex" also has one of these angular guitar riffs; only this song has a driving beat and bass part that gives the sound of this track a whole different feel.

"The Sad Truth" is spoken word like track set to music; the words give listeners a bit to listen to and digest and perhaps that might be a reason for the spoken word style of vocal presentation. The opening lines really are just the tip of the idealistic iceberg that the lyrics espouse.

I dream of a world where flags are nothing but cloth and the only things that matter are love, life, and freedom / Where the bottom line doesn't determine life and we aren't defined by income bracket a pretty house, faith, a lack thereof, or a fucking degree…

I really like the way that the band presents it. "Bibles Plus Guns Equal the American Dream" gets my vote for song title of the year, but its excellence goes much deeper than simply a witty song title. The sarcastic and ironic lyrics are something to think about, "The American Dream televised on a 50 inch screen / Told what to fear and what not to wear / So fixated on what we want we're oblivious of the cost."

A New Beat from a Dead Heart is a triumphant return for 108. Their religious imagery is still intact but takes a more real world bent. Regardless, this band wears their passion on their collective sleeves and it comes through in the sound and mood on the record. It definitely shows that they still have a great deal to offer the punk and hardcore community. A New Beat from a Dead Heart also is a great example of how punk and hardcore records should sound; if more bands had the conviction that these guys have in their sound, we would all be better off.

8.3 / 10Bob
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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8.3 / 10

8.3 / 10

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