It must have been over a decade on since I picked up Grace, the debut and what would be the last full-length from California's Mean Season. Out here on the east coast, they have been discussed in low voices and hushed whispers almost as if the band was some well kept secret. You see, Mean Season were around when Unbroken and Strife dominated the west coast world (from many east coast inhabitants' opinion) and other bands like Mean Season and Outspoken were bands that one had to dig around to find. Of course, this was before the days of the proliferation of punk and hardcore culture over the Internet. Their scheduled Hellfest appearance this past summer was met with lots of "Who?". However, Indecision Records is making it their mission of late to make Mean Season's (and their fellow west coast hardcore compatriots') material available again.
The Memory and I Still Suffer in Love is a discography of an unfortunately overlooked band that is nice to see in print. It contains the Bleed to Me 7", Grace LP, various compilation tracks, and a couple of unreleased songs. It is a rather expansive collection. One aspect of the band is evident in listening to this record; Mean Season played an impressively diverse array of music. Yes, they are a basic metallic hardcore band, but to say that and not continue would be a disservice to their memory. The vocals are passionate and expressive and slightly remind me of the vocals of Ink and Dagger. This comparison slipped my mind until recently. The fact that there are violins used during the acoustic version of "Numb Again" only further illustrates the diversity on a record that is peppered by acoustic parts, an impassioned vocal delivery, and a strange energy that only hints at the wildness in the live setting.
Several notable songs make up The Memory and I Still Suffer in Love. "Guess What" has that uncanny resemblance to Ink and Dagger but with a beefier and more metallic attack. "Exit" has an infectious, throbbing rhythm that anchors this noise laden track. "Suffer" has an intro that is one hell of a mid 1990's nostalgia trip. When the song picks up steam, it comes off with an intense energy. "This Season" has a kind of tribal drum; it is very mid paced metallic hardcore for which this time period is known. I must say; the singer really explores the use of the term "mother fucker" here. "Lesser Man" is a
ballad complete with acoustic guitars and all. The regular version "Numb Again" has elements of 80's glam metal going on.
Mean Season were an underrated band and The Memory and I Still Suffer in Love shows that fact. It is a pretty good release that runs a little on the long side, but heyÃ¢â¬Â¦it is a discography. If you were around back in the mid 1990's give this a listen for a great nostalgia trip. Those who are new to the Mean Season experience can expect a sound that is representative of that era. It would fit well amongst your Unbroken and Outspoken discographies. Kudos to Indecision records for releasing this gem.
6.5 / 10
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