“Generation Kill” is the answer to the question “What did Rob Dukes do after Exodus?” Now based out of New York as opposed to the San Francisco bay area, “We’re All Gonna Die” is the second record from the US-based crossover outfit. If you like this sort of thrash metal-meets-hardcore-meets-punk-rock with huge production values- (think of Five Finger Death Punch‘s older, more gnarly brother and you’re part of the way there)- then this eight track album will be ticking many of the boxes in your head.
Opening salvo ‘Born to Serve’ is fairly representative of the band’s schtick. Big riffs, big solos, big chorus, big, well, everything to be honest. It’s fairly agreeable in a “don’t think about it too hard” sort of way.
No sooner have we got ourselves all pumped up on rock ‘n’ roll adrenalin and ready to go are we then brought down a tempo or four by the plaintive and “we really mean it, man” atmospherics of ‘Prophets of War’. As you can probably guess it’s got a bunch of lyrics about betrayal, corruption and it all meanders around before it decides that it’s no longer a big ballad but a no messing about thrash song and you wonder what actually took them so long, as it’s much more appealing and the band feel utterly at home.
‘Death Comes Calling’ is forgettable meat and potatoes plodding so it’s a blessed relief that the three minutes of ‘Friendly Fire’ is balls out thrash metal with a cracking little riff, a call and response chorus and more fret action than a guitar convention. Nice work, fellas.
‘Carny Love’ kicks off with a Sideshow Bob type narrator- we are at the fairground of dark imagination- before seguing into what sounds like mid period Faith No More at their most jazz influenced, misanthropic best. It’s an odd addition to the record given the more straightforward structure of the rest of the record- it’s jarring and whilst not entirely unpleasant sounds like it should be on another album. But perhaps that’s just me.
Normal service is resumed with the petulant ‘Vegas’ where the band’s thrash heritage is to the fore. The eight minutes of ‘There is No Hope’ is a freight train of aggression and belligerence with that mid song slow down into plaintive coda once favoured by a certain San Franciscan band that you own a lot of records by. Yeah, them.
The record ends with the title track and more 80s influenced thrash metal: all guns blazing, adrenaline pumping. I suspect this is the sort of thing that adherents of the circle pit absolutely love.
Although this is a cross-over record- namely between thrash, punk and hardcore- it’s a record more in love with thrash metal than any other style and that’s ok by me. It’s no masterpiece but it’s not without its moments either. It’s heavy, muscular and efficient. I suspect I’ll be filing it under: not bad, actually.