North Side Kings

Organizing Our Neighbourhood

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If you're looking for a new kind of hardcore, something that will push the music's notoriously rigid stylistic boundaries and bring fresh air and new ideas to the 20-year-old genre -- you've come to the wrong place. However, if what you want is a solid half-hour (well, nearly a half-hour) of old-school mosh pit rave-ups and raw-throated shoutalongs, then this Arizona-based quartet is just what the doctor ordered. The North Side Kings' real distinction on the hardcore scene is the band's rather bizarre Mafia motif -- their debut album was titled This Thing of Ours (which would translate into Italian as "cosa nostra"); their second was called Family Affair and even the title of this one -- Organizing Our Neighborhood -- has a certain mobbish overtone. The music itself couldn't be any more straightforward, though: "In This Corner" is a gratuitous self-shout-out, "Lowlife" piles derision on wannabe punks and drug users everywhere, "Family Affair" hints again at a mob-derived theme of neighborhood territoriality -- you get the picture. Danny Marianino is a fine, growly singer, and the band's overall sound is pleasingly heavy and tight. The CD includes CD-ROM footage of the band live on-stage (touring with Soulfly; the sound quality is atrocious ) and some entertaining interview footage as well. Recommended.

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