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pg. 99 / Majority Rule - Split Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 10
Musicianship 10
Lyrics 9
Production 10
Creativity 10
Lasting Value 10
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 99%
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pg. 99 / Majority Rule - Split

Reviewed by: OKComputer1016 (05/04/08)
pg. 99 / Majority Rule - Split
Record Label: Magic Bullet
Release Date: July 23, 2002

I won’t beat around the bush: this is one of the best CDs ever made. Majority Rule and pg. 99, already two of the most consistently stunning bands in all of hardcore punk history, are at the absolute top of their game here, borrowing wisely from Sonic Youth’s iconoclast book of tricks and introducing a few of their own as well.

Anyone who knows pg. 99 should be used to their variety of sounds. No two releases sound alike, due in large part to their clown car of contributing members. Where Document #8 was their masterpiece of “punk rock freedom,” their tracks on this disc would best be described as indie. Whatever the genre, though, these songs find the band at their most melodic*, leaning more towards Majority Rule’s painful dirges than their own blink-and-it’s-gone signature sound so that the whole disc plays like one incredibly angry band.

Majority Rule’s half is just as thrilling, because even by Majority Rule’s standards, it is incredibly dark. The production is totally muddy and everything melds together like the shadows of more distinguishable notes, and it’s the creepiest music you could imagine. Pretty much every song segment is in a different key than the one before it, but not in a progressive piece-by-piece way – just a disregard for graceful melody flow.

Both bands had an uncanny knack for being scary and for making that fear seem completely effortless, but Majority Rule have to take the trophy for most nightmares induced. It could have been the fuzzed out basslines that held up the bottom end of every song they ever wrote, or it could have been little touches like the most excellently manipulated feedback I have ever heard in “These Hands.” They used reverse guitar, they wrote the most evil chords ever, and their pick scrapes might have been contributed by Satan himself. Even the use of a vocal sample in “Not in my Name” – which is almost always annoying in heavy music – is unsettling and awesome.

It’s also worth noting that the split has got some of the most representative album art I’ve ever seen. It looks just about as disturbing as the music sounds, but it’s a subtle kind of creepy that’s really tough to explain.

The appeal of the thrown together, apathetic vibe is that it builds a unique piece of art – these songs could never sound the same again if they were replayed. They live exactly as the tape caught them, blemishes and all. And it’s a rewarding experience in repeat listens to find some background sound deep in the mix that never presented itself before. The replay value is just incredibly high.

Like crediting Tool for creating nu-metal, it doesn’t really seem fear to call this a screamo album – not in today’s sense of the word. A tag like that connotes the likes of Thrice and Thursday who, although not bad bands, just don’t have shit on the emotional depth of these songs. It’s absolutely urgent that you scrape together $8 and pick this beast up, because it will be the holy grail by which you judge all depressing** music, believe me.

*For pg. 99 standards
**In the good way

Recommended if You LikeMalady, Haram, Circle Takes the Square, City of Caterpillar - but way better

Trust me, it’s worth it:

myspace.com/pgninetynine
myspace.com/majrule
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
11:34 AM on 05/08/08
#2
OKComputer1016
this is success-this is how we feel
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Can't believe no one has given me shit yet for dropping a perfect score. But it really is perfect and disgustingly overlooked....
02:34 PM on 05/08/08
#3
newfoundmichael
@SirDaveyBoy
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Hey, I don't know if I would give this a perfect score, but I'd definitely say it deserves a 90%+ great review man.
04:09 PM on 05/09/08
#4
Blake Solomon
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Can't believe no one has given me shit yet for dropping a perfect score. But it really is perfect and disgustingly overlooked....

*gives shit*


But seriously, me and Adrian (the other guy that approves user reviews) had a discussion about your score and we were a bit wary, but we figure you know what you're talking about. I'd be very hesitant to score anything a 100% myself.
04:21 PM on 05/09/08
#5
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Can't believe no one has given me shit yet for dropping a perfect score. But it really is perfect and disgustingly overlooked....

Pg99's Document 8 is awesome...this split is pretty incredible. and you're right, bands like Majority Rule and Pg.99 really were some "pre-post-hardcore" bands. I still like the City of Caterpillar s/t though.
11:37 PM on 05/10/08
#6
cereal4life
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I'm not sure that anything deserves an 100% score. W/e!
03:36 AM on 05/12/08
#7
GoWaitInTheCar
The World Won't Listen.
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City of Caterpillar. I've heard this bands' name a few other places, I should check them out.

I remember the split pg.99 did with Circle Takes The Square, I thought pg.99 was pretty bad.
10:08 AM on 05/12/08
#8
OKComputer1016
this is success-this is how we feel
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Yea you should check out City of Caterpillar, Neil Perry, all other angry guys recording in Virginia basements.....
06:17 PM on 05/12/08
#9
hockeyguitar99
Prison Strength
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i see how something could be really good, great, or even amazing, but I don't think that anything can be perfect
09:46 PM on 05/12/08
OKComputer1016
this is success-this is how we feel
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in finally weighing in nostalgia after much deliberation...i docked the lyrics a tad....on account of preachiness
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