Solanum – I.T.S.C. (2016)

Solanum are a Canadian punk/thrash act that have crafted a record that I feel is more or less a decent effort. As I listened to these seven tracks, I noticed that I heard barely a difference in any of them and the disc just kind of came and went. I can honestly say that I.T.S.C. Is definitely not the kind of record I would have reviewed had it not appeared in my mailbox, and I’m certainly not one to completely recommend it. Being that I’m not much a fan of the punk scene and the social justice movements by which it now almost completely consists of (because that’s the new form of rebellion) you can almost foreshadow my opinion on the piece as a whole. These guys are loud, rowdy and full of spite, with sharp thrash-gone punk riffs and a frontman who belts out every line as if he’s willing to drill into your forehead. It’s almost like a hardcore approach, similar to something from Pro-Pain or other acts that I like. His voice is also tolerable and not the kind of absurd gut punch vocal style that many of these kinds of bands will employ. Why? I have no idea. In any case, there are no real “dude-broisms” here to be found and these gentlemen mainly stick to their guns. The record comes in hard and fast, screaming loud enough to give you tinnitus (which I think I now have after listening to the piece, and I don’t remember my ears ringing that badly before) which is why it is almost certainly not for the feint of heart. There’s not so much an atmosphere here as there is a sense of “I’m pissed off and I’m not going to take it anymore” which will definitely work for listeners.

These tracks are a bit longer than you would expect however, with the majority of them being well over five minutes and the longest (Into The Sinner Circle-Self Righteous Refusal) clocking in at a little over seven minutes, and I suppose offering a little more meat to the production. I’m not sure, I literally can’t remember and the whole thing feels like a blur. It’s the kind of record that you’d play if you were really upset about a lot of things and wanted to stew in that anger for quite a while. It’s the kind of record you play before you’re going to get into a fight with someone. It’s the kind of music that you might hear playing as the soundtrack to a fan created video of “MMA’s greatest hits” or something of that nature. Certainly not my thing, nor to my taste. I gave it a listen the first time and wasn’t digging it, I gave it a listen the second time (just a few minutes ago) and still am not able to get into this kind of release. There’s an audience for it, but I just don’t know how loud, rowdy and angry I am. From my rants and raves online, people might think that I embody this kind of record, but I most certainly do not. Punk music, even fused with metal, is still a very tough genre for me to absorb and I’ll either like an approach or not like an approach. In this case, I can’t say that I prefer I.T.S.C and would like to hear a bit more than what I’d consider the bass product. If I can’t remember your record after the second time, then it just doesn’t work for me. I guess I’d compare this kind of stuff to Nails, which just sounds like a bunch of guys playing loud music and screaming in a room. Some people love that kind of stuff, but for me… well, I’d rather eat crow.

(7 tracks, 38:00)

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