Ringworm Birth Is Pain

Cleveland's Ringworm plays the sound sure to please Victory Records followers: fast hardcore, influenced by metal. Featuring ex-Integrity people, this one doesn't try to blow minds by doing anything new (perish the thought); it simply does a great job at fast hardcore. Some welcome metal elements are added above and beyond the usual, namely in the form of good solos and thrash riffs. The vocals are also a welcome change, with a bit more emphasis on the higher-pitch than the guttural gunk usually found within this label. The lyrics are really bad, however, utilising such classic tough guy hardcore words as "bitch" and "whore," but you don't go to Victory expecting poetry, or intelligence, or innovation. So call this one better than the pack, running circles around most of the label's roster, but still kind of block-headed and, ultimately, boring. (Victory)