Old School, New School

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Chicago's Lungbrush released their full-length debut, Old School, New School, for Pavement Records in 1999 after becoming one of the dominant local metal acts in town. The group's hardcore shades of modern metal inspired many to offer Pantera comparisons. On cuts like "Bound," however, Lungbrush displays an affinity for a spastic punk sound that puts plenty of sonic distance between the band and their metallic influences. Singer Roach grinds his vocal chords into aggro oblivion, and guitarist Jeff Holmes cops more than his share of enviable riffs. This sonic concoction is impressive (especially for a first effort), but the songwriting leaves a little to be desired. After a few tunes, nothing sounds particularly fresh, and Roach fails throughout Old School, New School to deliver a memorable chorus. The performances and overall intensity only warrant a mild recommendation, as listeners with less than a passionate allegiance to Lungbrush's strain of American metal will have a tough time enjoying this disc.

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