Every time I listen to Coke Bust‘s Degradation E.P., I get a little younger, and a little more in touch with my inner hardcore kid. I have this theory that if I listen to it enough, I’ll be transported back to my days of seeing H2O play all-ages matinees.
And, honestly, it’s an EP you have to listen to over and over again. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flurry of short, furious attacks. “Another Fucking Problem” opens the record with a machine-gun litany of shit you don’t want to deal with: “Work, death, bills, time, life, stress,” and after that, you’re off to the races.
The whole of the Degradation E.P. almost fits on one side of a 7-inch, but it’s fattened up with the album closer, “Deathbed,” which drops the tempo from speed-bag punches to a steady, methodical ass-kicking. Actually, until “Deathbed,” there are moments of melody and youth-crew catchiness that briefly surface in Coke Bust’s songs that suggest the fact the band might be poppy underneath everything. “Long Gone” starts out like it might be a sing-along, but is quickly swept away.
Coke Bust is a band about whom I’ve heard good things, and all the hype surrounding the straight-edge crew is completely justified. Grave Mistake has found yet another band who manage to turn hardcore into something more than just the usual chugga chugga riffs.