Sometimes there is something which goes by the reference of historical revisionism whereby people go back and alter the place of a person, place, thing, or idea into a more vaunted or lower position in the historical record. I bring this topic up because it does happen frequently in the world of music, independent music particularly as artists go in and out of fashion and the trajectory of these artists give rise and fall to their influences while the music press may also inflate a bands or musicians place as well. Wanting to get that out right away as it is not my intention to change Cables place in the musical landscape, I enjoy Cable very much and am glad that Variable Speed Drive is finally getting the reissue treatment as it has been quite sometime since the original was available.
Cables evolution is one of the more endearing elements of the band and a testament to their longevity (fifteen years of off and on existence, five full-lengths and a sixth on the way, EPs, splits, and the retrospective Last Call) from a discordant noisy hardcore band (a la Deadguy and their ilk) to including a more sludge sound to their oeuvre. Variable Speed Drive is the first album chronologically from Cable and heavily leans on the noisier elements of the mid 1990s hardcore scene and offers an excellent look at a young band lashing out their surroundings.
All of these observations are completely evident with the initial discordant blasts of Needles Vs. Nails, but with one pleasant exception, there is a surprising amount of melodic injection into the music to the extent of the song climaxing in an explosion of a triumphant sounding movement before diving headlong back into the verse. Another big highlight from this album is the old favorite of Cable, Steel Cage Match. Even though this song shows a fledgling group that is not fully polished, the anger and passion in the music is here in spades. PaperPlaneCrash is another standout piece from the album and contains some similarities to very early Converge (Halo In A Haystack-era), particularly in the vocal delivery and elements of melodicism in the tracks arrangement.
Variable Speed Drive is an intriguing document of Cables first big steps and showcases some elements of what the band develops into later on in their existence. Yes, the album is at times raw and unpolished, but it is still sincere sounding (a fact or quality that most bands do not exhibit now a days). Variable Speed Drive is well worth tracking down because Cable does do the whole noise-core (yes, it is an old term that described a certain subsection of mid-90s hardcore bands) rather well while adding elements of melody that some of those other bands did not have.
7.0 / 10
Exciting is a good term to use to describe the feelings from Cable putting out another album, particularly after they had apparently called it quits. Thankfully, their farewell turn juiced ...
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