"Digital Warfare" (Bridge Nine; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If you're in need of some quick energy, and there's not a can of soda or a cup of coffee within easy reach, grab this CD by veteran hardcore rockers Slapshot and you won't need any caffeine.

With thirteen tracks and a total running time of under thirty minutes, Slapshot's "Digital Warfare" wastes none of your valuable time. Beginning with the title track, "Digital Warfare" bursts full title out of the gate, raging from track to track to track and a breakneck pace verges on out of control.

"The Last Laugh" is the best track on the CD, and gets points for its furious pace and angry, but hilarious, lyrics. "Had It With Unity" is another winner, starting off with a chunky bass line and then trudging along at a bouncing rhythm. It's the perfect anti-anthem. "Tear Down the Walls" is also notable for its blistering guitar.

Singer Jack Kelly excels here, delivering raw but measured vocals with stunning lyrical clarity. And those who don't like much of today's modern rock because of a lack of solos will be pleased to find at least a couple here. 

Amazingly, this is the band's first studio album in seven years. You'd never know it. "Digital Warfare" is a furious, raging ass-kicking disc with nary a low point. Any fan of hardcore or heavy punk will find something to like here.

Slapshot: Jack Kelly - vocals; Ed Lalli - guitars; Chris Lauria - bass; Mark McKay - drums.

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"Greatest Hits, Slashes and Crosschecks" (Bridge Nine; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Pure old-school hardcore from a veteran band who are nearly synonymous with that very sound. "Greatest Hits, Slashes and Crosschecks" is a collection of the best of the band's tracks, plus a couple of new ones thrown in for good measure (humorously entitled "Crossover Sucks" and "Shoot Charlton Heston.")

Out of control guitar chords, raging vocals (in the vein of Fear's Lee Ving), racing rhythms - "Greatest Hits" has everything the "olde time hardcore" fan is looking for. What makes this collection particularly interesting is that there are no vintage tracks here. Yes, this is a greatest hits collection and, yes, this Boston band has been recording since the early 80s, but "Greatest Hits, Slashes and Crosschecks" is a compilation of new recordings of their most popular songs. Even over the past twenty years, the band has apparently lost none of their charisma and drive.

The CD also includes live video performances of "Step On It" / "Chip on My Shoulder" and "Olde Time Hardcore" / "Silence" with "Old Tyme Hardcore" featuring some of the gnarliest moshing you've ever seen. Also included are a collection of flyers for the band's various performances, extensive liner notes and a link to their official website (which you can also visit just by clicking here

"Sudden Death Overtime" (Taang! Records; 1990)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

One of the best songs on "Sudden Death Overtime" is "Punk's Dead, You're Next." I bring that up because, as you listen to this CD, you come to realize that punk isn't dead. Despite the fact that Slapshot pride themselves on their hardcore sound (their website, after all, is, their music has a decidedly punk attitude and style to it.

Oh, there's plenty of "old time hardcore" here as well. In fact, that's what makes Slapshot such an interesting band. Their combination of punk / hardcore / oi / whatever gives each song a life of its own, depending on the blend. Some songs sound more like punk ("Dealing with Pennies"), some sound more like hardcore ("War on Drugs") and some sound more like plain old hard rock ("Say Goodbye"). Nothing here is dull or boring, however, and it's the variety that keeps things interesting. A heavy cover of the Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" also livens things up as do the two live tracks that close the CD, mosh-inducing versions of "Chip on My Shoulder" and "Moment of Truth."

Through their lyrics, the band is at its best when tackling social topics. The only tiresome theme here is the repetitive "My scene is better than your scene" nonsense that occurs in several songs.

Slapshot: Steve Risteen - guitar; Jamie Sciarappa - bass; Jordan Wood - guitar; Mark McKay - drums; Choke - vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.