The Minor Times

Making Enemies

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The debut album by Philadelphia quintet the Minor Times is an exercise in endurance-testing post-hardcore brutality. Singer Brendan McAndrew is one of the only people who makes the constipated-Muppet vocal style sound genuinely aggressive instead of merely absurdly comical, and guitarists Timothy Leo and Chris Masciotti actually manage to make something interesting out of the usual unison-riffing style, while the rhythm section of Matthew Leo and Brian Medlin recall the proto/post-rock Squirrel Bait in the way they subtly fracture the usually straightforward rhythms with unexpected leaps into double-time or time-signature left turns. Despite these subtle touches and the smart inclusion of some mid-album breathing room by way of the found-sound-and-atmospherics interludes of "Whiskey Wednesday" and "The Eye in the Sky," it's still kind of a slog to listen to all of Making Enemies at a go, because there's little variation, lyrically or melodically, in the skillfully done but awfully samey songs. By themselves, songs like the opening "The Pugilist at Work" and the music-industry diatribe "I Fuck for Money" are overwhelming, but over the course of the full album, it gets a little tiring.

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