Earth Crisis

All Out War

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This debut from the politically outspoken straight edge outfit Earth Crisis had a huge impact on the American hardcore and metal scenes. Originally released on the tiny independent Conviction Records in 1992, the All Out War EP was eventually released nationally in 1995 on Victory Records. While not nearly as accomplished as the group's later recordings, All Out War is a very direct and ambitious collection. What would become familiar themes of veganism and animal rights are given prominent placement in both the artwork and lyrics. The revolutionary straight edge message is strongly pronounced as the group rips through scathing sonic attacks on all they consider wrong with humanity: animal cruelty, the establishment, and general cultural trends toward laziness and greed. Led by vocalist Karl Buechner, Earth Crisis sound uneven at times, as the no doubt tightly budgeted recording reveals some wavering drum and guitar performances, but, of course, that's exactly where the charm lies in early career efforts like this one. The leadoff title track doesn't suffer at all from any neophyte sloppiness and certainly stands out as a hardcore classic as well as one of the best tracks of the group's career. The three remaining songs are solid, but unspectacular. Earth Crisis definitely improved as a songwriting and recording outfit as their career progressed, so new listeners might not need to pick this disc up first. Fans of the group will be very interested in All Out War, if not for its urgent and passionate music, then simply for its historical value as an important straight edge document.

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