Watching the World Burn

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It's hard to imagine such anachronistic SoCal punk being released in the year 2000, but here it is. Vision, a gang of five dudes who've decided to plunder the self-righteous arena of melodic hardcore fight-for-your-right music, have little new to say, but at least they say it with passion. But that's no excuse for the uninspired musical, rhythmic, and lyrical clich├ęs that comprise the majority of Watching the World Burn's 13 cuts. Vague righteousness hasn't sounded this hyperactive since Black Flag and company ruled the mosh pit. Unfortunately, Vision shares none of the invention or humor that set such high-water hardcore acts as Black Flag and their more humorous crosstown cousins the Descendents apart from the rest of the brutes. But hidden underneath the heard-it-all-before lyrical rhetoric is a core earnestness that's at least defined by conviction (if not inspiration or innovation). And, when that kind of energy is directed towards nonconformity, it can't be all bad -- no matter how unremarkable it sounds on record.

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