Full Court Press "Live Life Large" CDPosted on Friday, June 13th, 2008 @ 5:58am » permalink
Full Court Press was a relatively short-lived Belgian act that existed from 1998 – 2004 (though their final release was back in 2002) and was constantly referred to as "the European E.Town Concrete", which isn't exactly a comprehensive assessment of what the band had to offer, but it's probably safe to assume that most any fan of E.Town should definitely be down with these cats, too. And anyone who's been reading my site since those days should recognize the name, 'cause I definitely had many a kind word to say about Full Court Press when I first got my hands on "Live Life Large", their lone full-length, in early-2003, probably six months or so after it hit the streets. And to this day I still think this is an absolutely awesome, totally underrated record, and had these dudes been from the US I bet they'd have been way more popular. (I'm not saying that's how it should be, but unfortunately that's the reality of the situation sometimes…)
After 1999's "Ghetto Style Fiction" demo, the band officially debuted with more of a straightforward, almost "beatdown" style of metallic hardcore in 2000 on "The Art of Warfare" split with Crawlspace, followed by four songs on the "Step to the Plate" compilation the following year (I never did get my hands on this compilation, so if anyone can hit me up with high-quality mp3's of that shit, please do let me know. Thanks!), but by the time this record came out in 2002 their delivery had grown quite a bit. The hip-hop influences in the vocal patterns had definitely become more obvious (though still pretty subdued, especially when held up against a band like E.Town Concrete), but the music was far more intricate and melodic – while still retaining plenty of the simplistic, chugging midpaced breakdowns and straightforward aggression of their earlier days. What always killed me about this disc, though, was just the sheer quality of the riffs and songwriting. Every song's a keeper, and more than half the album's just jammed with incredibly powerful – not to mention memorable – guitar parts and vocal arrangements, in addition to the types of impressive rhythm section flourishes you'd expect when even a marginal hip-hop influence is present. I mean, shit, the chorus to "Lesson Learned" is just fuckin' sick, while "All That Remains" is just all-out for six minutes straight. It's rare that bands of this nature actually hit on such an emotional type of feeling, as opposed to just outright aggression and rage or whatever. I don't know. Great band, great record… and I wish they were still around.
This one's not as easy to grab as I thought it would be, but there are a handful of used copies on Amazon right now, and it looks like you can still get it (from Europe) from the label as well if you dig through their online catalog.