Subtropical Spin

Last of a Dying Breed (No Dice Records/New Art School)

Remember when hardcore ruled the streets of South Florida? When slow riffs and hyperpunk cadence crossed over to thrash stages? It was the mid-'90s, and we anteed up on New York with thugged-out panache and pop-a-cap-in-your-ass cool from bands like Bird of Ill Omen, Cavity, and Shai Hulud. Now it's 2005 and DNME -- a squad steeped in local lore, having come up as contemporaries of the aforementioned -- drops Last of a Dying Breed, a monument to the bands that built the scene. Harold and Sapo (these guys go by first names only; something about APBs or outstanding warrants) shred with necessary brutality while their vocals gel into guttural anthems. The rhythm section lays into a sensationally thick, grooving foundation with Julian (bass) and Alex (drums) matching the guitar riffage like doting fathers. "Ides of March" is an old-school, mile-a-minute cruncher à la United Blood-era Agnostic Front while "Strangers in Black" slows it down for a brooding foray into paranoia. This ain't nostalgia, but it sure feels like I'm getting mobbed around in Miami's Cheers circa '96.

Breed's production quality is pristine, and its sound is enhanced by a few notable guests. G.I. Flow hands out the lyrical slaughter on "Psycho Violent Destruct Beatdown," local player Adel 156 (of Timescape Zero fame, whose '93 split seven-inch with Subliminal Criminal is a must in any collection) lends the yells on "No Control," and -- holy shit! Is that the Cro-Mags' John Joseph on the title track?! Joseph, impressed by DNME during New Art School's Cro-Mags jam, agreed to collaborate with the band in the studio. For DNME, age is the great teacher, and Breed is aligned with the true, honest spirit of the glory days, certifying South Florida's stake in the annals of hardcore.

 
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