Barcode - Showdown
Nuclear Blast
16 songs (34:32)
Release year: 2005
Barcode, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Jason
Crap of the month

Here is comes… a flurry forum postings about how we shouldn’t review these types of albums and how we should focus more on quality metal releases. Well, before anyone says anything, here’s what I’ve got to say: Our responsibility as reviewers is to do our best to present/review the metal scene in whichever way it unfolds and in the most unbiased way possible. Bands such as Barcode, and several others, have managed to score deals with Metal record labels despite the fact that they aren’t Metal at all. Though we could easily ignore bands like these, I believe omitting such releases would be misrepresenting how the head-honchos of the metal industry are trying to steer the musical direction of the genre of music we love so much. If these bands are being pushed by metal labels, we should surely say what we think about the music they’re dishing out. So with no further rambles, I present to you my Crap-o-the-month… Barcode’s Showdown.

I have heard many times people use the expression “that music is food for the soul”, but if Barcode’s music were served as a dish to nourish our soul, it would likely ensue in a bad case of indigestion and explosive diarrhea. It truly boggles my mind why on earth Nuclear Blast would enlist a Bostonian-style Hardcore band in the vein of Agnostic Front (also on Nuclear Blast now), and basically stain their reputation for having a roster of kick-ass metal groups. My guess is either the label is looking for a way to cut across musical cleavages in an effort to rake in more $$$, or that NB chooses bands while huffing gasoline. Although I was an avid fan of punk music a few years ago, and enjoyed most of the bands on Epitaph and Hellcat records (where Agnostic Front used to be), I never really enjoyed bands such Agnostic Front because the music was plainly too simple, lyrically hollow and boring – Mind you, I’m talking about punk here, so for someone to say that bands such as Barcode were considered too simple, that means any drunken 13 year old can learn to play their songs within a day.

Showdown is basically a fiesta of mindless yelling, power chords, and drumming that could have been mostly done with a 3 piece drum set. The album is composed of 16 identical tracks averaging about 2 minutes each and focuses on quasi-political lyrics which leave you as musically satisfied as making love to yourself with sandpaper… which I would think is not all that satisfying… for most at least. I mean, I know that Punk and Hardcore tend to have short tracks, but a disc that has 16 tracks and lasts 34 minutes with little variety is almost ridiculous. I guess the positive side to having short tracks is that it doesn’t give you enough time to decide whether or not the song is worth blowing out your brains over. Now on to my favorite part: the lyrics.

I try to avoid using profanity in my reviews, but in this case I wouldn’t be able to accurately portray my sentiments without it: The lyrics are absolutely fucking stupid. No really… I don’t understand why this band is being advertised as extreme and politically incorrect because their lyrical themes are the equivalent of semi-retarded Sesame Street compared to a Cannibal Corpse song. I think my favorite lyrics are from the tune Make my Day (read them in the forum section of this review). After being subjected to a song like Make my Day and knowing the lyrics, I have but only one message for the band members: “Guys, sorry about this, but everytime I hear Make my Day its entirety I will write up an I.O.U wherein you will have to repay me 2 minutes and 56 seconds of wasted life spent listening to this song… with interest”.

Everything about this CD is absolutely bland, repetitive , non-extreme and aimed at pleasing a crowd with an I.Q of 40 and under. If you want to listen to something in the same vein as Barcode which is actually fairly decent, go listen to Raised Fist’s Ignoring the Guidelines. Many may argue that it isn’t that good, but I like it, and it is truly light-years better than Showdown. I can easily write 1000 pages accurately depicting how virtually every millisecond of this album sucks total balls, but instead I’ll cleanse all memory of this album from my mind with some Behemoth and a bottle of whiskey. Save your money and 34 minutes of your life by not even thinking about buying this Crap-o-the-millenium.

Killing Songs :
All of them do the job quite nicely
Jason quoted 15 / 100
Mike quoted 5 / 100
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There are 24 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Jul 08, 2005 5:04 am
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