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Ladder Devils - "Forget English" (CD/EP)

Ladder Devils - "Forget English" CD/EP cover image

"Forget English" track listing:

1. Get OK
2. Divorce Drugs
3. Common Dogs
4. Pyramid
5. Leavers

Reviewed by on April 15, 2012

"Even in a genre known for its lo-fi sound, hardcore act Ladder Devils' 'Forget English' stands out, with a level of sheer fuzz that will make you wonder if you've blown a speaker."

Even in a genre known for its lo-fi sound, hardcore act Ladder Devils' "Forget English" stands out, with a level of sheer fuzz that will make you wonder if you've blown a speaker. The end effect is that the album, despite some excellent guitar parts (if you can hear them) descends into mere noise more often than not.

Motorhead fan that I am, I have no problem with distorted bass, but here, it is cranked up so loud in the mix that it nearly obliterates everything else. Even the shouted vocals are largely covered up in "Common Dogs," which does put the fuzz bass to good melodic use in parts. The guitars, unless they're playing some shrieking high notes just can't compete.

That's too bad, too, because early on in the opener, "Get OK," there's definitely evidence that the band can lay down some great hooks. There's also an excellent section in the middle of "Divorce Drugs" that's a bit reminiscent of a surf rock lick. Unfortunately, the hooks get lost in the noise, especially on the final track, "Leavers," which punctuates the shouting and fuzz bass with bursts of atonal feedback.

Extreme hardcore fans may enjoy Ladder Devils' "Forget English," which is available for free download at the band's website, www.LadderDevils.com. Those with less patience for lo-fi noise may want to give it a pass, despite some decent hooks here and there.

Highs: The opening of "Get OK," portions of "Divorce Drugs" and "Common Dogs."

Lows: The sheer cacophony of "Leavers."

Bottom line: Hardcore gone a little too lo-fi, with a blown-out sound that obscures some tasty licks.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)