At its best, the debut release from New York's Crushed take cues from the city's revered thrash-inspired hardcore acts of yore like Cro-Mags, mixing gritty, pounding riffs with their own grimy, noise-inflected atmosphere for a novel combination of sounds. However, the record could stand to be pared down — as it goes on, it begins to blend together into a formless, indistinguishable and altogether uninteresting mass.
Opener "Tarnished Past" grabs the listener's attention with a merciless two-step beatdown section from the jump, accentuated by gurgling, distorted vocals not typically found in hardcore. As the song transitions to "Annoying," it retains that momentum, but beyond that, the tracks begin to repeat the same elements ad nauseam, both structurally and with things like grating feedback samples that sound more like bagpipes than guitars. Although the record only clocks in at 19 minutes, were it stripped of a few songs that serve as padding, it would have left a longer-lasting impression. (Independent)