Review
Neshamah
Communicating in Heartbeats

Witchdoctor (2005) Kevin Fitzpatrick

Neshamah – Communicating in Heartbeats cover artwork
Neshamah – Communicating in Heartbeats — Witchdoctor, 2005

If you ask me, there's no musical genre more ripe to be picked from the tree of potential and placed into the basket of commercial acceptance than South African Christian Hardcore (SACH). Yes, a bold and untapped market is just waiting for us to shell out our Krugerrands and spread the joys of Jesus.

What's that you say? You're not ready to be inundated er... blessed with the Holy Spirit? Relax, heathen - it's hardcore. You can't tell what the heck they're singing about anyway. Pretend its Satan.

From the first notes of "Communication Beating", you know Neshamah aren't Stryper. The only problem is, halfway through the album you almost wish they were. Okay, scratch that. You still don't. But what you will wish for is something more interesting than Communicating in Heartbeats, the first full-length album from the band and the worst album title in hardcore history.

I'm not going to waste your time and mine by giving you a history of the band, because it just isn't worth it. Having them hailing from South Africa had me intrigued, I'll admit. After all, those South Africans from Lethal Weapon 2 were pretty badass, but can they rock? The sad fact my friends, when you play this type of pedestrian scream-by-numbers banality, it just doesn't matter where you're from. Boring is boring is boring. Apartheid shouldn't have been about color. It should have been about segregation against boring-ass bands.

Did I mention it's boring? No, it doesn't suck, it's boring. There's a difference. Sucking is better than boring - any band that elicits enough of a reaction in someone to cry out "This sucks!" was at least unique enough to do so. When there's nothing unique or memorable about the songwriting, musicianship, or vocals, you have a shitty album. Did I say boring? I meant shitty. They're so boring they're shitty.

I'm getting madder now as I type this, because I've gone on at length about a band I started out by saying they weren't worth my time to do so in the first place. Devious bastards. Believe it or not, I really tried to find something positive to say about this album, but darned if I couldn't find a goddamn thing. Speaking of which, I bumped into Jesus at the Piggly Wiggly and brought him home for a listen to the album. He was flattered with the liner notes, but that was about it. Before he fell asleep, he mentioned something about the bassist being a hottie. So remember, folks, when you're at your local independent retailer looking for albums, just ask yourself, WWJD? Buy something else.

Neshamah – Communicating in Heartbeats cover artwork
Neshamah – Communicating in Heartbeats — Witchdoctor, 2005

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