Rat Damage: Cursed 12"
After a couple of small vinyl outings, here's the debut full-length from California's Rat Damage. They've progressed a long way since their skate-core beginnings... on this record they add a second guitarist who's great at pounding out killer, rocked-out leads that contrast well with the band's simple and brutal hardcore attack. The result reminds me a little bit of later Black Flag, but not exactly (this isn't one of those bands that shamelessly tries to imitate Ginn's guitar style)... it's more like they're interested in the simplicity of punk, the heaviness of metal and the catchiness of rock music. It's a really original combination that doesn't really sound like anything else out there, but it still engaging and powerful. FYBS Records