After a couple of standout EP releases, we finally get the debut LP from New York's Anasazi. I suppose that Anasazi have always been pegged as the goth / death rock band of the Toxic State set, but as with virtually everything the label releases, this isn't easily summed up with just a couple of simple genre tags. Yes, this definitely has a more sinister sound a la Christian Death's Only Theatre of Pain
LP, but it largely does away with the more melodic / poppy elements common among recent death rock type bands, focusing on the more warped and sinister end of the sound. At the end of the day, I think this probably has as much in common with dark and dense anarcho punk like Rudimentary Peni than it does with most quote unquote "goth" bands, but it doesn't rely on cliches from that genre (like, for instance, that Crass-inspired marching band snare sound) either. One of the things I'm kind of surprised by with this LP is how much of a guitar record it is... the guitarist is constantly doing these catchy little high-up-the-neck lead parts that immediately get stuck in your head. It's not dissimilar to old bands like Zounds or new ones like Institute, but the rhythm section is so heavy, nasty, and punk that it ends up sounding like something else entirely. A truly remarkable LP, and if you appreciate the artsy weirdness of later Rudimentary Peni you'll fall in love with this immediately. I should also say that this is one of the most beautiful packages Toxic State has put together (and that's saying something!), including a beautifully-designed screen printed jacket, a huge poster, and an illustrated lyric booklet. A remarkable LP, and destined to be remembered as one of the most powerful things Toxic State has ever released.