The Weapon

Where Fear And Weapons Meet

Revelation Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


When I get too comfortable with my life, thinking about the way how things are generally going my way, I tend to listen to a hardcore band. Hardcore, the genre, is a hybrid of metal, noted primarily by the vocal style of shouting lyrics. Hardcore was born on the East Coast, especially in New York City. The number of hardcore bands mentioned in a hardcore zine like In Effect are astronomical. So when I read a review that says "XYZ band is the best hardcore I've ever heard," I'm likely to discredit the reviewer. After all, how the hell can someone listen to hundreds of bands and keep them straight?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Therefore, I'll make it simple for you: Where Fear And Weapons Meet is the best hardcore I've ever heard for three primary reasons: length of the CD, intensity of the music and the positive message in the lyrics.

The CD The Weapon is short, only 21 minutes long. This is to the band's advantage. Some longer hardcore CDs, even in the 40 minute range, tend to get tedious. Hardcore was built on the premise that "here's my message, I'm going to pound it into you, and leave you with something about which to think."

Magically, drummer Jason Deucifer's high pitched snare cracks and quick single stroke rolls are the disc-length highlight. On track after track, his drum parts intensify the music to another level. Guitarist John Pain's riffs often transform into chords that are held over a couple of measures. Deucifer's frantic pounding fills in the void left by the absence of a guitar lick. Listen to the :50-1:00 on "Half Full."

And those things about which to think revolve around injustices the band sees around them. In "Second Chance," vocalist Alex Wall Street Justice confides, " I wish life would give me a second chance / Want to go back in time and make amends." Justice is particularly distraught in "Are You Happy?" when he ponders, "Are you happy with yourself . . . you turned your back on something you were into / Why don't you follow things all the way . . . through? / I'm not trying to tell you what to do / You made your choice but I have to ask why. Finally, in "Under The Bridge," Justice acknowledges the brevity humans live on this earth as he proclaims, "People stop talking from time to time / A petty argument they had in the past, but please move on / Don't hold a grudge / There's not much time to carry this on."

Where Fear And Weapons Meet is a strong band. Their intensity is tempered only by their self-imposed limits of knowing when they've gotten their message across. It only took them 21 minutes of strong songwriting on The Weapon to do it.

Rating: A

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