Sunday, July 19, 2015
Recommendation: Negative Approach "Tied Down"
For all my hardcore punk people out there... I have a recommendation for you! If you are not familiar with Negative Approach then you need to tie yourselves down and read this recommendation.
I discovered this band through no other than Mr. Tankcrimes himself, Scotty Heath. Actually, the first time I heard music from Negative Approach was live at the Tankcrimes Brainsqueeze 2. They played the second day of the festival and were one of my favorites bands who played that night. After that performance I listened to the band's first EP and their LP Tied Down. Recently I bought a copy of Tied Down, so I thought maybe I can influence more people to check out Negative Approach.
Considered one of the iconic old school hardcore punk bands and highly regarded amongst some in the metal community, Negative Approach is a fierce musical outfit from Detroit. Their unforgiving style of hardcore is fast, aggressive and full of vicious attitude. Compared to other hardcore punk bands there is this bold nonsense approach that the band demonstrates. At times on Tied Down I hear some moments where the music takes on this Grindcore vibe. Their singer John Brannon is in my opinion the embodiment of a brilliant hardcore punk frontman. His attitude and lyrical presentation is raw, so raw that you hope to never piss off John Brannon if you happen to meet him face to face.
The album begins with the snarling title track, “Tied Down.” Negative Approach offers speed and aggression with this opening song. The guitar and bass playing is equally as extreme as the lyrics. Track number two, “Hypocrite,” bursts through the speakers with a crushing riff. Following it up is the song, "Evacuate.” Here Negative Approach slows down the tempo and creates this really gritty slow piece of music.
“Said and Done” and “Nothing,” continue the vicious assault. “Nothing,” is probably my favorite song from the Negative Approach catalog. The lyrics demonstrate a quality of honest musical expression and seem to be a reflection of what these guys were feeling at the time. Growing up in Detroit might have been tough, especially during the eighties, so the words and instruments represent that feeling of possible disillusionment.
Side B of the album for those who buy the LP version, is just as intense and raw compared to that on side A. “Your Mistake,” begins with a rapid drum attack and is quickly followed by the adrenaline pumping chorus that is shouted out over the blasting guitar distortion. The song, “Live Your Life,” is one of those uplifting punk anthems for anyone who is feeling down in the gutter.
“Friend or Foe,” buzzes with rage and features some catchy guitar playing. Right after the song finishes, “Dead Stop,” begins with a strong main verse along with a very classic hardcore sound. Closing out the album is, “I’ll Survive.” Negative Approach’s hardcore punk mentality always stayed consistent and the final song was a great finishing touch to such a powerful release.
Out of all the hardcore punk bands I have listened to over the years, Negative Approach was one that took me by surprise and gained my respect. Maybe because I am more of a metal guy than a punk guy, I tend to gravitate towards them since their vicious sound reminds me of early thrash and grindcore. Overall, these guys are a great band who I highly recommend checking out. So untie yourselves from your computers and start running around while blasting to some Negative Approach!