A collection of musical anger
California band Despise You formed in 1994, where they became one of the main influencers of the power violence movement and for creating topics of gang violence and self-hate within their lyrics. Earlier this month, Despise You dropped West Side Horizons Reissue. The record is a hard-hitting 62 collection of songs that feature the current band members who have helped create the powerful music. Each track has ear-bleeding instrumentation and vein-shaking vocals that help explain what power violence is. West Side Horizons Reissue is an album that shows how Despise You wasn’t afraid to show people who they are as a band through nerve-jolting music.
The opening song, “Culpa Mia,” blares powerhouse violence. Chris Elder’s and Cynthia Nishi’s vocals capture how angry both vocalists are as they scream out the lyrics in pure rage. Also, listeners can feel the chemistry between Elder and Nishi and each high-pitched scream contributes to the endless madness. “Culpa Mia” is a short tune, but Elder’s and Nishi’s vocals shine through the darkness.
“I End Me” is a headbanger with dynamic drumming from Jorge Herrera. Right off the bat, the thunderous sound of heavy drum beats is the heart and the sound of crashing cymbals contributes to the lingering craziness that seems to loom in the atmosphere. Another noticeably good thing about Herrera’s drumming style is how the musical tempo matches the high-strung emotions running through this piece. The feeling of hatred radiates through each thunderous drum beat, and “I End Me” is a serious composition with Herrera playing his heart out on the drums.
The ever wild “Career Overview” has lively bass guitar playing from Andrew Solis. Each note rumbles with intensity as the band keeps playing on a faster musical tempo. While listening, the booming sound of Solis’s bass guitar ring in the background with heart-stopping riffs that can cause people to air guitar while listening to the never-ending noise of irritability. “Career Overview” is filled with top-notch bass guitar playing that brings sheer energy to this track.
The skull-crushing “Seen The Lines” is filled with smashing guitar playing from Phil Vera. The song starts with ear-ringing riffs that will dazzle the mind with an electric vibe that keeps the musical flow together. What is enjoyable is how Vera can stay at the same pace as the rest of the band because everyone is playing on a faster tempo, and the faster the music is, the crazier the music becomes. “Seen The Lines” is another wild number that displays how talented Vera is as a guitarist.
Screaming track “9-13-91” has Elder yelling the lyrics out in pure hatred. At the beginning of the tune, the bold instrumentation welcomes people to the black atmosphere. Then, Elder emerges from the background angrily shouting out the words in passion. The tone of Elder’s voice suggests that he is angry and not afraid to express himself through his authoritative vocal performance. There is a wide range of powerful emotions in “9-13-91” due to how Elder uses his vocals to demonstrate his internal feelings.
“Past Reasons” is one of the angriest songs on West Side Horizons Reissue, which features Elder singing in pure rage. The feeling of hatred, annoyance and irritation can be felt through Elder’s dominant shouting and screaming in this less-than 40-seconds track. “Past Reasons” is a righteous composition that has a great vocal performance by Elder.
Blazing “When You Fail” is one of the shortest tunes (11 seconds long) that has killer instrumentation. Right off the bat, the slinging sound of the guitars emerges from the background, creating endless high power energy that produces a static musical buzz, and each drum beat creates non-stop havoc that can cause people to dance crazy. “When You Fail” is a mighty tune that displays how well each band member performs impactful power violence music. Other short tracks that pack a punch are “Unmoved – Complacent” and “Portrait.”
Despite how long West Side Horizons Reissue is as an extensive collection of maddening songs, the record gives an insight into how Despise You shaped the movement of power violence through their music.