Showbread – No Sir Nihilism is Not Practical
Release Date: October 19, 2004
Record Label: Solid State Records
Showbread is a 7-piece outfit on Tooth and Nail records. They posses a unique sound, an offbeat combination of frantic screaming, controlled melodies, and spacey synth. The result is surprisingly energetic and real. The production is excellent, crisp and clear with great synth effects. The album is immediatley set off by spastic screaming and strange instrumentation. The second track “Dead by Dawn” showcases the band’s ability to perform two different styles of music fused together as one. Straight up rock melodies complete with confident, smooth vocals are countered by staggered group screaming. Showbread has 2 vocalists who alternate duties, and while one predominantly screams and the other sings, they blend together beautifully in the chorus in which “Dead, By, Dawn” is wailed and repeated by both. The album transitions perfectly into an 80’s-ish intro to the first single “Mouth Like a Magazine”. The verse bounces along with funky bass lines while the two vocalists trade off lines. The result is impressive. The instrumentation remains varied and intriguing while each chorus becomes anthematic. At times, Showbread is similar to The Blood Brothers if they weren’t completely insane. The 4th track “If you Like Me Check Yes” is one of my personal favorites. It flies along at breakneck speed while again both vocalists scream back and forth at each other. It’s at this moment where you really start to realize The Blood Brothers similarities. The song then slows down into a funk breakdown with hand claps and synth. This album will make you want to dance for a bit, then floor punch for the rest.
Sadly, the album can also make you fall asleep. “So Selfish its Funny” contains a bridge that makes absolutely zero sense to me. The song breaks from distorted hardcore energy into a lazy bridge that never loops back into a harder chorus. The song just dies, and the album energy is sufficiently killed by “The Missing Wife”, a 5 minute acoustic track that comes out of nowhere. It’s simply a bad song with one tender riff repeated over and over again while the vocals mutter out virtually inaudible lyrics.
The album makes a decent shift back towards success with the electronic driven metal track “Welcome to Plainfield Tobe Hooper”. The thing is, this track is pretty similar to the earlier tracks, and with the huge drop in energy over the previous few tracks it’s hard to get back into the groove. It’s followed by another slow song, and the few harder tracks that follow it basically repeat the same riffs and breakdowns heard in previous songs. The second to last track “Matthias Replaces Judas” is a slow and emotional song in which the religious message is extremely clear – I found it to be a bit too much.
Showbread has created a very solid record. Their style of frantic hardcore with pop sensibility is a nice break from everything else we all hear in the genre. With some tweaking, this could have been a very good album. The ordering of the tracks doesn’t create a sense of natural progression and some transitions are abrupt and awkward. There is a fine line between being unpredictable and just not making sense, and Showbread tends to lean towards the latter. That being said, half of this record is pure bliss. Fans of all types could end up loving Showbread’s quirky synth driven brand of hardcore.
I love this band so much.
Its sad how many people they have gone through. Marvin left. Tae left. And now Big O is gone. They are still an awesome band nonetheless. This was definitely the better of their two albums. Can't wait until their third one comes out.