Pro-Pain_Voice of RebellionFYI: New York crossover is once again in da house. Yes, the Gothemic institution of Pro-Pain is poised to release another angry screed against the powers that be, crying out from their scummy concrete jungles with a back alley trash dumpster sincerity that cannot be denied. Since forming in the early 90s from the wreckage of hardcore legends Crumbsuckers, Gary Meskill piloted this thrash/punk/hardcore hybrid along a very consistent course, mixing seething rage with simplistic but accessible writing as the band addressed all sorts of current events and socio-political themes. They’ve had some great albums (their Foul Taste of Freedom debut is perpetually on rotation here), and some that felt a bit too safe, but none were dull or worthless. Album fifteen, Voice of Rebellion is the quintessential Pro-Pain platter in many ways. It’s really pissed off, acerbic, aggressive and heavy as steel girders. There are the expected traces of Biohazard, Agnostic Front, Life of Agony and Pantera in the sound, but at the end of the day, Pro-Pain always sounds like Pro-Pain. And that’s why they’re the Budweiser of New York crossover – always tasting exactly the same, comfortable and familiar but capable of knocking you on your ass.

This is a typically aggro outing, and the opening title-track is a true gem of steroidal vitriol. It has the classic heavy hardcore swagger and a punky bounce that belies the oppressive crunch of the riffs. The oft-repeated refrain of “consider this a warning shot, motherfucker” virtually guarantees it will become a staple for heavy dead-lift day playlists at gyms nationwide and it’s hard to resist its knucklehead street thug charm. I’ve been spinning it way too much and feel a bit dumb blasting it in my truck since I’m too old to be this fucking gangsta.

Gary Meskill“No Fly Zone” opens with a gritty rap that sounds a lot like Ice-T (who did in fact grace their The Truth Hurts album back in 94) before going all NYC on you with thick, crunchy riffs and testosterone-riven bellows from our man Meskill. It’s so simple in delivery, but the drumming and solos are surprisingly technical and the complete package hits the reptilian spot in the brain that craves “tough guy” anthems. The brass knuckle hits keep on coming with stormers like “Take it to the Grave,” and the extra catchy “Belle Morte” which could have appeared on their debut. “Blade of the Cursed” almost sounds like Rob Dukes era Exodus, but Meskill is much more convincing as a vocalist. “Hellride” stands out for the wild guitar pyrotechnics running over the top of the caveman riffing and it makes quite a potent earbomb. And let’s not forget the dainty nuance of closer “Fuck This Life” which could be the musical companion piece to S.O.D.‘s “Kill Yourself” when you’ve had a truly shitty day.

With fourteen tracks on offer, they’re bound to be lesser moments, like the somewhat throwaway rumble of “Crushed to Dust” and the mindless fury of “Enraged.” These aren’t bad songs per se, but they don’t particularly register or hook you in either. The bigger issue is the tendency of the songs to bleed together into a raging stew of machismo and bicep flexing, and by track 11 or so I have no more fucking hostile to give the cause.

Production-wise, this thing is a hammer. The mix is big, burly and bruising and the guitars have enough force to ruin your sheet rock and drive off even the most loyal girlfriend. Despite the low DR, it sounds surprisingly balanced and satisfying and exactly as this kind of music should.

Pro-Pain_2015

As always, Garky Meskill’s vocals are a one trick anger pony. His raspy bellow conveys all the displeasure one could want and for whatever reason, I never get tired of hearing him shout, scream and blather on about injustice, unfairness and inequity. Unlike many bands of this ilk, the cuffs are off guitarists Adam Phillips and Marshall Stephens, and they take full advantage with wild solos that sometimes seem out of place amid all the mob mentality rhythmic destruction. This gives Pro-Pain a little more identity and along with some interesting drumming by Jonas Sanders, keeps the relatively simple songs from getting boring.

Voice of Rebellion is a big, pugnacious slab of New York attitude, ready to climb off the disc and bully you into a corner. It’s pit-ready, parent unfriendly and has enough breakdowns to send Dr. Fisting into hiding for a month. Listen to it and get all Long Island on your neighbors.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: SPV Records
Websites: pro-pain.com | facebook.com/pages/PRO-PAIN-OFFICIAL-PAGE
Release Dates: EU: 2015.06.22 | NA: 06.23.2015

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  • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

    Little do you know, but Dr. Fisting has always liked these guys, and was in a band that used to cover a track from “Round 6.”

    • Well, since you’re a man of fine tastes, I’m not surprised.

      • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

        The Doctor appreciates the finer things in life.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          This “doctor” shit is really starting to get out of hand.

          • Fisting_Andrew_Golota

            You’re just jealous.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Jealous??!!! That’s it. I’m promoting myself to the Lord Almighty Doctor A. N. Grier.

          • Is this a bad time to mention I’m a Juris Doctor?

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Of course it’s a bad time! I thought for sure you’d be Dr. Druhm, Esq.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Is there *ever* a bad time to mention that you’re a Juris Doctor? If I or one of my friends were a Juris Doctor it’d be weird if someone wasn’t constantly talking about it.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Doctor, eh?

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            This is madness!

          • Martin Knap

            metallers often more modestly assume the title count (Count Grishnackh, Count Blagorath etc.)

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Hmmmmm you make a great point…

          • Martin Knap

            we had a presidential candidate who’s full name is Karl Johannes Nepomuk Josef Norbert Friedrich Antonius Wratislaw Mena Fürst zu Schwarzenberg, luckily he didn’t have any academic titles :-)

          • Martin Knap

            Count Grier sounds really cool bdw ;-)

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Dude, that sounds fucking rad!

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Dr Uhm

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    I wonder if Hank Hill likes this band…

  • Al Tatts

    Top band. Foul Taste still gets played round here.

    Nothing will ever compare to Crumbsuckers though. Still stuck on that shit.

    • They were pretty damn righteous, weren’t they?

  • Matt slatz

    I’ve been hooked on these guys since seeing them with d.r.o. waaaayyyyyy back in the day……got thrown out of the joint right out back door, and into the middle a busy Cleveland Street…..first bouncer ass whipping…..good times!

    • Matt slatz

      D.R.I.

  • Doomdeathrosh

    HELL YEAHHH!

  • Daniel

    This is the best named caveman hit people hardcore band ever. I am laughing out loud that these guys even exist.

    • How can you not know about these brutes! They’re a caveman institution!

      • Daniel

        These guys are like the Benediction of punk. It’s just too perfect.

  • Norfair Legend

    For a band that I’ve always thought was “meh” all around, this sounds pretty tasty. May have to look into it.