Leftöver Crack

Constructs Of The State

Written by: MAK on 28/11/2015 13:06:01

“Constructs Of The State” has been arguably one of the most anticipated albums in the punk community from the moment it was announced that Leftöver Crack would be releasing a third album. For eleven years fans have had to wait for a full-length release from New York punks since their controversially named album “Fuck World Trade” was put out in 2004. This would be the first new material heard from the crack rockers since they appeared on a split album with Citizen Fish called “Deadline” in 2007. While Leftöver Crack have toured on and off over the last decade, vocalists Scott “Stza” Sturgeon and Ezra Kire focussed on other projects such as Star Fucking Hipsters and Morning Glory respectively before a feud between the two led to Ezra leaving the band permanently.

The announcement of a third album was met with both excitement and scepticism, as a lot of fans claimed that lead songwriter Stza’s other project Star Fucking Hipsters never lived up to the qualities of Leftöver Crack. The departure of Ezra left people wondering how that would affect the songwriting, would it in fact just be another Star Fucking Hipsters album? In short my answer to that is no. There are of course similarities between the two bands, as well as many bands within the Crack Rock Steady community. Choking Victim, INDK, early Morning Glory plus several others have all dabbled with that crusty punk sound that used additions of skacore and even death metal. The similarity would be the formula that Stza uses in his projects to makes them fun yet full of dread.

In the recording process of recording “Constructs Of The State”, Stza teased snippets of riffs though Instagram revealing that the album was going to be heavy, and the frontman wasn’t messing around as opener track “Archaic Subjugation” is an ear-assaulting hardcore and thrash crossover intro piece. It is vicious in a similar way that “Homeo-Apathy” opens up “Mediocre Generica”, heavy riffs, lots of atmospheric guitar whines with fast beats and putrid vocals that would fit in perfectly with hardcore punk. The opener leads directly into another crust punk track “Don’t Shoot”, featuring more gravelly vocals and distorted riffs that are designed to make you feel slightly uneasy. The follow-up track “Loneliness & Heartache” switches the album tone, and despite the name it is actually a fun sounding track, the vibe is upbeat and the chorus is rather catchy and enjoyable.

From then on, the distinctive LoC sound of fast muted ska licks and aggro-punk riffs tend to break out more and more throughout the album, first up through “System Fucked”. Another song that mixes moods between fun and viciousness as the chorus and verses are almost the polar opposites of each other. “Corrupt Vision”, follows the exact same formula of happy verse countered by “fuck shit up” choruses but in a shorter burst. Only a minute long but easily the most enjoyable track as it takes both polar opposites to its extremes, you will go from skanking to wanting to smash the room apart in a matter of seconds.

There is a strong sense of nostalgia on the album as it emulates the best parts of both Leftöver Crack and its predecessor band Choking Victim. Tiny things like the production are just as raw and unpolished like it would possibly sound at its best on vinyl through crappy speakers. Or the way that the bass guitar is made more audible than on the average album like it was on Choking Victim's album “No Gods No Managers”. Then the simple additions of samples of people talking about either the police or government in a negative way, the little quirks that made the older albums rather special remain intact.

One amusing feature to the album is the addition of “War At Home” at the end. This is a song originally on the album “Realpolitik!” by techno-punks Intro5pect which Stza did guest vocals on. On the same album, Leftöver Crack hit “Nazi White Trash” was covered by Intro5pect with added synths to give it a techno-punk vibe. Even with members Donny and Chris of Intro5pect now considered to be members of Leftöver Crack, it would have made more sense to give “War At Home” a more crack rock steady feel as a fun twist instead of just adding an unedited version of another band’s song to the end of the album. I don’t quite understand the reason for the addition even if it is a good song.

Leftöver Crack have however returned with an album that is surprisingly amazing, squashing any doubt that it was churned out for the sake of it. The topics of protesting against politics and police are as relevant now as they were over a decade ago. I was left with a pure buzz after my initial listen that it was equally as good as “Fuck World Trade” and “Constructs Of The State” even contains some of the best material Stza has ever written.

Download: Corrupt Vision, System Fucked, ¡Poliamor Fiesta Crack!
For The Fans Of: Choking Victim, Star Fucking Hipsters, Intro5pect, early Flatliners
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 27.11.2015
Fat Wreck Chords

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