Akimbo

Harshing Your Mellow

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This probably isn't quite the response Akimbo were shooting for when they released Harshing Your Mellow in 2001, but anyone who was into the first couple waves of hardcore punk back in the early to mid-'80s probably found this album to be a rather charming nostalgia piece. Specifically, Akimbo here are seemingly channeling the spirit of SST Records from circa 1984 to 1988, after the members of Black Flag discovered Black Sabbath and weed, but before Nirvana and Soundgarden turned up to tweak the scene just enough to send it aboveground. Certainly song titles like "When I Am King I Will Spit on the Corpse of Ray Manzarek" and "I Wish the Dead Could Come Back to Life So I Could Kill You Again" will warm the heart of aging Butthole Surfers and Big Black fans. And the overall sound of the album, that of heavy proto-grunge power trio with every trace of the blues stripped out of its sludgy, metal-based stomp, will sound equally at home to those still sporting "corporate rock sucks" stickers on their bumpers. On its 2007 reissue, Harshing Your Mellow sounds even more like a period piece than it did on its first release: an enjoyable, refreshing period piece, but a period piece nonetheless.

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