Pay No Respect
2. Nothing Is Lost Save Honor
4. The Sirens Of Titan
5. Deadeye Dick
7. Sun Moon Star
9. Mother Night
10. Mosh 'N' Roll
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Look, break-ups can sometimes be hard, and they’re not always amicable, but where the chestnut “absence makes the heart grow fonder” applies, Bury Your Dead fans are direct beneficiaries. I actually have no idea how any of that went down, but I do know that following his departure Mat Bruso slid largely into obscurity minus a few lights-out guest spots, and BYD began a slippery slope to the Family Values Tour while fronted by Myke Terry. So when Bruso bellows, “You’re not getting older, you’re just getting old!” on “Sun Moon Star” he’s not only referencing the work he did on The Ghost Inside’s “Chrono,” but working to create a bridge over the Terry era back to Cover Your Tracks and Beauty and the Breakdown. Likewise, “Mosh ‘N’ Roll” is “Losin’ It” is “Mosh ‘N’ Roll” curiously works despite appearing on no less than three separate albums and lending its name to the album title as well.
While we could sit here and bitch about how Bury Your Dead hasn’t done anything new here and is just re-visiting a bygone era, try telling me the opening of “Slaughterhouse-Five” didn’t have you flipping over the nearest end-table and splintering it into a thousand jagged pieces. Besides, Mosh ‘N’ Roll is a departure from their last two albums, and a clearly welcome one at that. The record hands you thick, meaty riffs, Bruso’s throaty vocals, and Sam’s Club breakdowns on a silver platter, and leaves absolutely no room for dissention. In other words, what we used to come calling for, exhumed and given new life (or perhaps undeath?). With the crisp, clean production and mack-truck heft being thrown behind these songs, Bury Your Dead sounds as tight and unforgiving as ever.
Sometimes it’s difficult to rate bands on their execution of a well-worn style—namely how well they are able to nail their respective stylistic choice—and therein a reviewer needs to make distinctions often specifically based around the idea of track differentiation. Here, such differentiations are nonexistent. But flow can counteract some of this, as can having each song stand on its own two feet memorability-wise; all things considered this could be the difference between an album falling anywhere from a four to a five, even. Rare is the five that doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it’s not unheard-of. Due to a few of the songs running together in a blur of chug in places, Mosh ‘N’ Roll finds itself comfortably inhabiting four-star space.
All the same cuts like “Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Sun Moon Star,” and “Bluebeard” rank among the best Bury Your Dead has written, and the entirety of Mosh ‘N’ Roll seethes with an intensity not seen from the band in half a decade. America loves a comeback, so get the fuck into this kiddies and celebrate the return of these Massachusetts bruisers. The only thing I’m left wondering is if they’ll bring Joe Krewko back to do a fourth version of “Mosh ‘N’ Roll” on the next record.