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Album Review

Not much has drastically changed in the New Mexican Disaster Squad camp since their 2003 eponymous record. But in the world of blistering hardcore, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Still very much influenced by early- to mid-'80s hardcore, Don't Believe keeps the band's assault swift and potent, clocking in with 14 raging rockers that are over and done with in less than 30 minutes. The guys don't mess around with production tricks or random instrumentation, instead sticking with straightforward chord progressions, tight basslines, and vigorous drum bashing. Rapid-fire vocals by a hoarse Sam Johnson don't ascend too far out of the shouted delivery zone, and intermittent background gang vocals pretty much follow suit. If the band has a sense of humor, it's really not that apparent amid all their incensed fury. Among other things, they fervently rally against the influence of government and media ("Cast No Shadows," "Get the Bullet Out"), and corner feelings of disillusionment ("I Don't Believe"). And if you're still not yet singing along in the pit, "Destroy at All Costs" is a high-speed, slam-dancing anthem for everyone's inner anarchist. New Mexican Disaster Squad is as disenchanted with the world as many similar-sounding groups littering the hardcore scene, but anyone who can appreciate unadulterated release keyed by passionate delivery will find much to like on the band's Jade Tree debut.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Orlando, FL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Taking significant influence from the no-frills attack of '80s hardcore heroes like Black Flag and Minor Threat, Orlando-based New Mexican Disaster Squad began aggressively spitting their own abrasive punk at a new generation of rockers in 1999. Getting straight to work, the band had issued their first 7", Weapons and Equipment of Counter-Terrorism, by the end of the year. Comprising Sam Johnson (vocals/guitar), Brian Etherington (guitar), Alex Goldfarb (bass), and Richard Minino (drums), the quartet...
Full bio
Don't Believe, New Mexican Disaster Squad
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