SHORTS & CHURCHBELLS
Reason To Complain
It's really a pity that some bands waste their musical talent by coming up with stupid bandnames, poor packaging or a faceless vocal delivery... Switzerland's SHORTS & CHURCHBELLS is one of these acts that unfortunately manage to fail in all of these categories. I suppose I won't have to explain why there's indeed a "reason to complain" when it comes to their chosen monicker (not even the shortened version SAC sounds better to me)... Too bad that also the visual side of their first full length (the follow-up to their previously released two mini-CDs "Rise Up Your Soul" and "The Underworld") has this typical selfmade look to it. It might sell a few copies at shows or via small underground mailorders, but by no means is suitable to compete with the stuff that you find at a store in your local area. You may ask yourself why I focus on these aspects so much instead of judging the music?! Well, it's pretty easy: there's so many releases out there these days that every young band is advised to invest a whole lot more energy in all this in order to be taken completely serious. Musically SHORTS & CHURCHBELLS are damn good though. They seem to be quite skilled musicians and deliver a technically strong and overall very tight performed dose of traditional Thrash Metal with references to early ANNIHILATOR meets classic SLAYER meets the typical Bay Area style from those days. Yep, very refreshing indeed! Very solid production and as a whole extremely powerful, just the vocal delivery (a mix of death grunts and aggressive shouts) does not live up to this standard as it sounds kinda faceless and average to me. If the band should improve in this direction a bit more in the future there's nothing to complain about anymore... when it comes to the musical side. The band's name and packaging is still a different pair of shoes of course... For more info check out www.sac-metal.ch or visit the label's website at www.stonepath-records.ch.
- SHORTS & CHURCHBELLS - The Underworld - by Stefan Franke