Freya / Hoods


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Sacramento hardcore stalwarts Hoods team up here with Freya (formed by Karl Buechner, Erick Edwards, and Bulldog after the breakup of their previous band, Earth Crisis) for a ten-song split CD. Hoods are deep into the old-school hardcore verities, for better and for worse. Their sound is brilliant, diamond-edged, and dense, and singer Benito Garcia is as loud and hoarse as they come. Lyrically, the band needs to think about moving beyond tired celebrations of "the scene" -- especially when they're expressed as irresponsibly as they are in "The Only Good Thief..." ("Here for the fashion, not for the show/I'm gonna beat you, stab you, kill you") or as vaingloriously as they are in "West Coast Worldwide" ("This is not a band, this is a movement"). Freya's sound is no less heavy and no less harsh, but this band has a bit more to say and says it a bit more artfully. "Immortal Beloved" and "Ashes of Troy" both evoke surprisingly goth images of death, burial, and romantic anguish, while "Struggle to Survive" draws on mental-hospital imagery and "Prey to the Gods of War" waxes apocalyptic. Comparatively speaking, the one-minute-long "Spray Paint the Wall" is almost lighthearted. Everything on this album is impressive in one way or another, but you'll probably come away more excited to hear the next Freya effort than to be lectured further on the fine points of scenester solidarity by Hoods.

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