Carry On

A Life Less Plagued

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Carry On, it turns out, was a band with a pretty ironic name -- it lasted only long enough to produce this 12-song, 18-minute "album" (which, caveat emptor, lists for about 13 dollars). But what A Life Less Plagued lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in intensity -- besides, hardcore kids aren't known for their long attention spans, and an average track length of 90 seconds is really just about right. Carry On's attack is ferocious and tight in the grand louder-faster-shorter tradition, but occasionally the tempos slow a bit and the sound grinds down to a merely fast and metallic roar. There are no melodies, of course, but lots of fine yelling from vocalist Ryan George, and the twin-guitar attack of Todd Jones and Corey Williams is truly fearsome; in terms of both tone and invention, the band's instrumental sound is a good step above most of its competition. Lyrically, the songs tend toward modified straight-edge sloganeering ("X's Always Win," "Mirrors and Needles") and catharsis through the F-word. Recommended to all angry 15-year-olds and to those thirty-somethings who still listen to their old hardcore records and find themselves wishing that Minor Threat had a better producer.

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