The Floor Above: Bishop 12"
Raw, blown-out hardcore from Nashville, TN. There's a ton going on here... it has the looseness and directness of the Iceage records, but it's also got some super catchy riffs and vocals that even recall Government Warning a bit at times. The recording makes you want to compare this to like black metal or something--and there are some moments of Venom-esque propulsion--but really this is just a super raw, energetic, and nasty hardcore record. Killer stuff.Our take: So, this LP is a bit long in the tooth now, but it has lost absolutely none of its luster. I actually tried to get copies of this when it came out, but somewhere along the line I had a bit of a communication breakdown with Savage Quality and we were never able to close the deal. Well, several months down the line and the band let me know they had some spare copies and I'm stoked to finally get them in the distro. I raved about their most recent cassette on Not Normal, noting that it had "that magical "Rudimentary Peni factor;" in other words, the ability to write riffs that are off-kilter yet at the same time straightforward and catchy." Bishop has some of that as well, but it has something else that might make it at even better release at the end of the day, and that's a sense of rawness and desperation that reminds me of the very best black metal. I mean, black metal and hardcore are pretty much mutually exclusive since hardcore is all about the riff and black metal (well, a lot of it at least) is all about denying the listener the pleasure of the riff. Even though this is, structurally and sonically speaking, hardcore, something about it just sounds so cold and desperate, and it has such an all-consuming sense of atmosphere that I can't help but make the comparison. When I try to picture the Floor Above, I can only picture them performing in a damp, slightly chilly basement, which is strange because I have personally witnessed them playing in a Nashville living room where it was so hot you almost could not physically breathe. Obtuse comparisons aside, this is a simply brilliant release that somehow has immediate impact yet is dense and layered enough to reward many close listens. Completely essential in my book.