Apartment 213 "Cleveland Power Violence" CDPosted on Friday, June 2nd, 2006 @ 11:12am » permalink
Following last year's four-song demo of the same name, "Cleveland Power Violence" (brand spankin' new on Retribute Records) sees Apartment 213 unleashing their first full-length record since the band's formation way back in the early-90's… and it's about damn time! Perhaps best known for the legendary "Vacancy" 7" on the one and only Dark Empire label, or their split EP's with Benümb and Gehenna (all of which were collected on a massive and long overdue early discography CD in late-2005), the band is now back in action after breaking up in the late-90's and they sound better than ever – which is to say that they basically sound exactly like they did in their heyday, just with better recording quality. But that's not to say they've polished things up. Far from it, in fact. As expected the sound is still rough around the edges, and there's a live vibe to the production for sure – it's just clearer and thicker, with a more balanced punch and an even mix that lets the bass fill in right between the sludgy grit of the guitar tone and the warm snap of the percussion.
Despite what some would say, no other band sounds like Apartment 213 to me. The vocals are especially inimitable and immediately stamp the material as Apartment 213, and for those unfamiliar with the band's past efforts: Please don't let the term "power violence" scare you away. You have to remember that, in its infancy, "power violence" was actually good. It wasn't always a bunch of 80lb little suburban douchebags playing as fast and raucous as possible while barking lyrics about either goofy little bullshit that's not actually funny or crafting lofty socio-political diatribes that would've never made a damn difference in the world anyway. This is the real deal. It's not a blur of speed at all, and truth be told a good chunk of the material is actually churning and midpaced – with a riffing style that alternates between bludgeoning power chords and twisted squeals. Sure, there are plenty of speedy moments that flirt with a straight hardcore/grind sort of feel, but the overall aesthetic is one that you don't really get the chance to experience too often these days, because there have only been a handful of bands in the last decade that have been able to properly harness this sound. And since Apartment 213's roots rest in one of the earliest waves of the "power violence" style, that's why they can still deliver the goods without fail.
Aside from a couple of noise tracks (one from frontman Steve Makita's Lockweld project and one a collaboration between the band and Eric Wood from Man is the Bastard/Bastard Noise), most of these songs run about a minute or two in length. I believe the only re-recorded tracks present (not including those from the 2005 demo sessions) are "Decay" (from the split 7" with Benümb), "Severed" (from their demo), and "BTK" (a.k.a. "The Track Formerly Known as 'John Wayne Gacy'", from the "Vacancy" 7"). So by far and wide you're in for predominantly new material on this outing, and there's more on the way. Since this disc just recently hit the streets it hasn't made the rounds yet, but you can order it straight from the label for $13ppd, so get the fuck to it: