Rob Gordon's first lines uttered in High Fidelity are
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
Aw poor Rob thinking his life is a mess because he runs a cool record store and got to bang Catherine Zeta Jones and Lisa Bonet while being sappy over top five lists of Marvin Gaye songs. Imagine if our lovelorn anti-hero listened to hardcore/punk instead of radio pop songs. Rob wouldn't be making mixtapes and screaming outside chick's windows during a downpour. No he'd be as miserable as the rest of us thirty-something mooks listening to bands with members that are at least a decade younger than ourselves. And I never gave it to a Cosby kid either. Miss Jones...on the other hand, well I don't like to kiss and tell.
Gee, Rob, that Cosby Sweater isn't going to score any points with the flannel, beanie, tight pants crowd, now is it? However, listening to In Shame will score you some major points on the, "Wow - life is very fucked over" scale. Every song is a testament of heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery, and loss to the nth degree. Instead of making the songs catchy with a beat you can dance to, Swamp Thing takes all those crappy feelings and pulverizes those into a little ball of mosh inducing, speed metal tainted mess of hardcore fury that doesn't leave much meat on the bone. It's like being attacked by 1,000 rapid piranhas holding switchblades in their teeth. In Shame is a manic ride through those sleepless nights and realizing everyone around does in fact suck a big one. If you need any band references polish off some records from ten years ago under names of American Nightmare, Panic, and Horrorshow.
The songs that are on In Shame exist for a reason and they dig deeper than any pop song with ever hook into you. This album is for anyone out there that's pissed off and they aren't going to take it anymore. And there's no reason why you should. Put this record on, thrash around your room for a little. You'll feel better. I know I did. Mr. Gordon, you will too.
So am I miserable because I've listened to literally thousands upon thousands of hardcore songs or is it the misery that brought me to hardcore? is the question every hardcore kid on the planet at one time will ask themselves. Sometimes even I forget why I got into this music in the first place and thank you, Swamp Thing, for reminding me.
Swamp Thing also scores another review point for naming themselves after the coolest DC Comic character ever.
8.7 / 10
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