Botch’s American Nervoso reminds us of the time when crossover hardcore metal wasn’t such a wimp fest of whiny choruses and watered down formulaic songwriting. For those that are sickened by the current metalcore fad and would rather learn about some controlled violence—read on. And to the others that disagree with my assertion—go piss off.
This vital reissue (originally released in 1999) from Hydra Head recordings displays what was great about the late ‘90s styled hardcore/noisecore: pulverizing hyper-aggressive guitar riffing that is pitted against in-your-face vocals and vicious unrelenting hardcore energy. At times their sound is like spastic paranoia (“Hutton’s Great Heat Engine”) or just straight-up metal (“Rejection Spoken Softly” and “John Woo”). Think back to the noisecore of His Hero is Gone, fused with the math metal aesthetics of Dillinger Escape Plan, blended with the intelligent intricacy of early-era Helmet to explain the unique sound of Botch.
American Nervoso is completely satisfying to the hardcore purists seeking an adrenaline rush as it is to the metalhead aiming for a brutal slaughterfest of raw crunch-laden guitar power. That is the beauty of the noisecore movement that is largely underground today and why this groundbreaking release still sounds remarkably fresh and as vital as it once was.
For those looking for an escape from the wussified modern-day version of hardcore metal, pick up this shred fest from Botch and you’ll understand what so many people had been buzzing about back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.