Maximum Penalty Life & Times

There's a reason for many clichés/axioms: they're true. One of them comes to mind instantly when listening to the first full-length from New York hardcore outfit Maximum Penalty in ages: hindsight is 20/20. Why? Well, initially inspiring that same second-/fourth-beat-heavy attack embraced by the likes of Sick Of It All and Agnostic Front, this outfit have been inactive for so long that they've seen many flash-in-the-pan fads come and go yet have forgotten to shake them off. Now, an album such as this, which boasts some super-double-time beats and killer riffs, sounds like it was inspired by the likes of hip-hop/metal crossover acts like Limp Bizkit offset with Maximum Penalty's original Bad Brains aping. It's mind-boggling to think that this is what became of the drummer from Nausea: third-generation NYHC plagued by so much urban rhyme flow that even Biohazard would have trouble getting behind it. Maybe if it were still 1990 and Madball hadn't overdone it with this dumbed-down melange it would be cool but as is, it feels like little more than regrettable, er, nausea. (Reaper)