El Bitche

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On El Bitche, a bruised and beaten Pushmonkey returns from their disastrous major-label voyage looking to dish out a little Texas-style aggro punishment. Vocalist Tony Park, guitarists Howie Behrens and Will Hoffman, drummer Darwin Keys, and bassist Pat Fogarty returned to the studio to record El Bitche after their short-lived relationship with Arista Records ended, following only a single full-length release. The band was probably anxious to return the more reckless style that had won them so much attention in the mid-'90s. The results are mixed on this 2001 Trespass Records offering. Park's vocal work is more aggressive and the material is both harder and more dynamic. The gritty production is missing some punch, as Keys' fine performances suffer from a strange abrasiveness. Highlights include the trippy "Core" and the catchy single "Number One." Attempts at rap-metal like "Masterbreaker" miss their mark as El Bitche generally under-performs, especially when compared to Pushmonkey's belligerent live performances.

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