Antiseen – Badwill Ambassadors (CD)

Antiseen plays a style of punk in the vein of D.O.A. and D.R.I. – that is to say, tremendously influenced by bands like Venom and (especially in the case of Antiseen’s vocalist Jeff) Motorhead. Tracks blast through in the space of two minutes or less – guitars are heavy, thick and not concerned with the nuances of different chords and the drums are plodding, each subsequent thwack of the skins definite, planned, and irreversible. Tracks like “Scapegoat” show a mixture off “Ace of Spades” and early Ramones/Skrewdriver influence. While the tracks are extremely close to each other in terms of differentiation of guitar chords and tempos, nowhere on “Badwill Ambassadors” do Antiseen seem to slack. Every track, whether it is the opening (Alpha Male), the middle-ground (F.T.K.) or the much later, is as intense as Antiseen can possible be. “F.T.K.” is gritted-teeth, full-offensive in its distortion and grunge.

“The Devil Meets The Longhaired Weirdo” is a more intricate track than we have seen by Antiseen, using a Doors-esque synth to create a properly creepy atmosphere. “Devil” has Jeff assume more of a Corrosion of Conformity-style set of vocals, and practically the only negative thing that can be said about “Badwill Ambassadors” is that the album has more skits and lead-ins than your average rap or ICP album. For those individuals who want to be rocked by Antiseen’s music, these sub-minute diversions will only weaken any momentum that the CD had going for it. Some of the later tracks, even if they do maintain the intensity of the earliest cuts on the disc tend to fade into each other – specifically the trio of tracks “Ten Pounds…”, “No Apologies” and “Dear Abby”. The best cut on “Badwill Ambassadors” is paradoxically one of the latest. The 5—minute plus epic that is “Pledge Allegiance To The Bomb” intersperses the spoken sections that are present throughout the disc with sizzling guitar lines and a Lee Ving-style of vocals that will catch your ear.

Antiseen is both so far beyond what punk rock is usually seen as and exactly what punk rock should be. The lack of concern about anything but what they believe, an utter disregard for mainstream success – all of these things coalesce to make what is a very solid and above-avertage album from these veterans. The final track, “Q-Pid” drives home this point with bongos and a seventies-rock feel. Antiseen may traditionally find a groove in the same sort of guitar riffs, but a willingness to create tracks like “Q-Pid” shows that they are so much more than the straitjacket of punk would have us believe.

Top Tracks: F.T.K., The Devil Meets The Longhaired Weirdo

Rating: 7.0/10

Antiseen – Badwill Ambassadors / 2005 TKO / http://www.antiseen.com / http://www.tkorecords.com / Reviewed 16 February 2005

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