Birth A.D. Stillbirth of a Nation

Unsigned as of yet, Birth A.D are paving their own way, already having produced a video and releasing their debut ten-song EP. The three-piece Texan band combine speed metal, punk and thrash, paying homage to the crossover punk/hardcore scene of the '80s. In theory, this could work; in practice, it gets messy. The album is a throwback attempt at a sound similar to the likes of D.R.I. and Napalm Death, and a successful one, save for the more metal aspects, which muddle their strengths. Misplaced chugging riffs, guitar breakdowns and double bass hooks tend to lose their focus in the delivery. Birth A.D.'s members come from an amalgamation of death metal bands (Averse Sefira and others), a genre they can't shake from their sound or image, heard most prominently in "Failed State" and "Cause Problems." The attempts at a classic punk sound, however, shine through on "No Jobs (Don't Work)" and "No Man." The sociopolitical lyrical content is misdirected and comes off as comical, however ("Bring Back the Draft"). The EP begins with a social theme ("Equal Opportunity"), but eventually loses touch with the motif halfway through with tracks like "This Scene Sucks." (Independent)