Reviews Sabertooth Zombie Dance / The Prisoner

Sabertooth Zombie

Dance / The Prisoner

Sabertooth Zombie is a band that has been waiting to explode for sometime now. After a few self-released efforts, the band release their debut full-length, Midnight Venom, in 2006, an album that brilliantly fused menacing hardcore with the fierceness of punk. The album received high praise here at Scene Point Blank and we eagerly waited for what would follow. 2007 saw the band follow it up with a split 7” with Life Long Tragedy and this, Dance / The Prisoner, a double-sided 10” that is comprised of two separate EP’s.

The Dance side kicks off with the title-track. “Dance” sets things in motion with pitch of guitar melodies before the gritty riffs and fast-moving drumming turns the song on its end. Vocalist Cody Sullivan’s coarse barks really fit the dirge of Sabertooth Zombie’s sound. The two compliment each other perfectly, a marriage of anger and frustration. “Crooked Divinity” is a raging punk anthem that speaks out on the unwarranted abuse of power by the police forces - definitely a song built for sing-alongs. Thrown in is a cover of Wire’s “Mr. Suit.” The band updates the 70’s punk vibe of the original with a bit more speed and distortion. You can hear influence from the circa-1980 hardcore punk world in Sabertooth Zombie’s music and accordingly this cover actually makes sense given Wire’s influence on those artists.

Sabertooth Zombie continues to demonstrate their varied influences throughout this release. “The Bride (Lady Death III)” hints of inspiration from the slower moving hardcore punk of the b-side of Black Flag’s My War. “Of Fear and Peace” and “The Traveling Carnival” rekindle the faster-paced sound of the first two cuts while “Rock and Roll Friends” rounds out the first side with a nice high-octane blast of metallic hardcore. This song is definitely the most modern-sounding and fitting to the current direction of hardcore.

The Prisoner side is comprised of four originals and cover. “The Prisoner” leads things off and there is a slight directional change. The riffing has a southern rock vibe. I’m not really a fan of this song as metalcore bands as of late are majorly aping the direction it takes. Fortunately the other three originals revert back to early-80’s-influenced hardcore. A rendition of classic folk song “The House of the Rising Sun” completes the recording. While it may never be as identifiable as versions by The Animals, Lead Belly (you know that name as Nirvana covered him), or Bob Dylan, Sabertooth Zombie do the song justice. Obviously their twist is a slight transformation from the original, so it’s an interesting listen.

Dance / The Prisoner provides further evidence that Sabertooth Zombie is a band worth taking notice of. This record will see a release in 2008 on CD format with new art under the name Mere Bears: The Riot Cops Bathe on Zion. So if you’re not a vinyl addict you can wait until then. But seriously, why wait when you can bear witness to one of the freshest bands in hardcore.

8.0 / 10Michael
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8.0 / 10

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