Bruised Ego are a band that are very near and dear to my heart. One of my favorite bands to come out in the past few years for sure, and some of the raddest dudes. Their first demo tape really knocked me out when I first heard it a couple years ago, and their very active progression has been insane. This, their first full length LP "Roman Numeral One", was recently released on a variety of labels. I was lucky enough to be able to pay for a handful of copies before it went to press, and Brad was generous enough to put my lil' ol labels logo on the back. So yes this review is pretty biased, but fuck it cause y'all really need to check out Bruised Ego (and buy this LP from the band and other labels please).
Bruised Ego are a fastcore band through and through, exemplifying all the traits I love about the genre and its over the top sonic nature. Passionate, opinionated, the right amount of tongue in cheek, plus they can push the tempo's to mach 5. "Roman Numeral One" is the product of many hours spent refining their craft and they gave it the treatment it so deserves. I was so stoked when I heard that super metal producer/engineer Colin Marston was going to be recording the LP, and he definitely put a large roomy, thick sound to everything. A very raw, aggressive and energetic sound and performance comes through. It's warp speed shit, I gotta catch my breath a lot when I listen to this, and I've heard it quite a lot at this point.
Every song from the first demo is re-recorded here, but the remaining 15 tracks are all new and in your face. Bruised Ego always been really terrific song writers. Brad is a riff machine, incorporating a ton of influence from different styles of heavy music besides the tried and true fastcore bands. Adam's drumming is perfectly able to add the right amount of accents and tricks to make the riffing come alive in a new way. One of the craziest drummers to watch live. The track "Dundalk" for instance, has so many sharp stops and changes, it sounds like a track from No Comment's "Downsided", but on fast forward. Or the strange and staggering snare hit break in "Old Guy In The Pit". "Human Garbage" has a fantastically structured intro that weaves and morphs so tastily, then explodes into full on war mode. Mike is also sounding as aggressive as ever. Insane praise for being able to keep up vocals towards this music.
The packaging and layout of this record is total eye candy to me. It came out so good! The absolutely amazing cover art (done by Lobo Ramirez) is full of wonderful little easter eggs that were a lot of fun to pick out.