Various Artists

This Is Solid State, Vol. 5

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Solid State Records' fifth budget sampler kicks off mightily with "In Reference to a Sinking Ship," a previously unreleased track from '04 Solid State signees Norma Jean that binds death metal to hardcore with frightening precision. It's such an incredibly visceral song, it actually saps power from the resulting tracks. Though the material from Underoath and Haste the Day effectively advertises the band's albums, they just can't compete with Norma Jean, and this is a dynamic that continues throughout the comp. While Solid State has plenty to offer fans of the metal/hardcore/emo axis, some of the imprint's bands are crafting music that's both hard and unique. Georgia-based Showbread's "Llama Eats a Giraffe [and Vice-Versa]," for example, is a synthesizer-amplified post-hardcore yowl juiced with hyper percussion. And He Is Legend's "I Am Hollywood" is just totally crazy and wiry, like a metalcore reading of the New Bomb Turks. Other highlights of This Is Solid State, Vol. 5 include the traditionalist hardcore of Figure Four's "State of Mind," as well as Chariot's "It Is Usually the Boys Who Cry Wolf That Grow Up to Be the Men Who Cry Sanctuary." (Chariot, which signed to Solid State in summer 2004, features personnel from Norma Jean.)

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