Pissing Razors

Pissing Razors

F.A.D. Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/08/1999

I guess when you pick up an album by a band named Pissing Razors, you have an idea that what is on the slab of aluminum and plastic inside isn't compositions by Yanni.

But you might expect to hear some sort of evil noise, judging from the cover artwork on this El Paso, Texas band's debut effort. And, in a sense, you'd be wrong. Pissing Razors is an intense band, but they throw some curveballs into their style of metal, and end up with an album that has some fine moments, but still shows the band has some work left to do.

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The band - vocalist Joe Rodriguez, guitarist Matt Lynch, bassist Rick Valles and drummer Eddy Garcia - reminds me a lot of Pantera in their attack on the music. Rodriguez alternates between a halfway decent singing voice (let's be honest, some metal is not meant to be sung, per se) and an intense bellowing - decent enough, but not enough of his own style to stand out in my mind.

Tracks like "Dodging Bullets," "Where We Come From" and "Permanent" all show that there is more to Pissing Razors than just screaming and playing one's instruments like they were being thrown into a hydraulic press. More than once, I detected hints of progressive rock in the way that Pissing Razors shifted musical style and tempo as swiftly as one would make a chord change. That's proof enough for me that the rhythm section is tight enough to withstand any change thrown their way.

But standing out on a few tracks is one thing; making an album filled with songs that hold their own water is another. And while the material on this album is good, it doesn't always seem like all the tracks are pulling their own weight. The spoken word recitation by Warlock ( who?!?) on "Sounds Of Doom" almost sounds like Bobcat Goldthwait trying to be a metalhead - and it just doesn't work. And the occasional rap that I heard scattered within - sorry, gang, it's been done before.

Pissing Razors, in the end, seems like an album featuring a band struggling to find their own unique sound in a musical genre still smarting from the influx of cheesy bands that almost killed the genre in the late '80s and early '90s. It's still a good album, but the band sounds like they're capable of so much more. (They have a new album tentatively scheduled for release the first quarter of 1999; it will be interesting to hear how the band has grown in nearly the year since this one was released.)

Pissing Razors the band is a group that has enough promise to spark my interest in them for the long run. Pissing Razors the album is a work that has a lot of promise - as well as a few unfulfilled ones.

Rating: B-

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of F.A.D. Records, and is used for informational purposes only.