Combat Wounded Veteran – This Is Not An Erect, All-Red Neon Body (CD)

Combat Wounded Veteran have compiled all the tracks that have found their way on umpteen seven inches and compilations, only interspersing these pieces of histories with movie quotes. The ultimate fact about “Neon Body” is the fact that these 42 songs blast past the listener’s ears in less than a half-hour. Combat Wounded Veteran play a brand of indecipherable thrash/noise punk that tries its best to stay away from any sort of conformity, whether it be pandering to traditional song structures or harmonies. There is a lyric sheet for ”Neon Body”, but one has to wonder whether even if the singer of the lyrics on this disc know what they are saying. Still, tracks like “Dead Parents, yeah!” create a harmony out of the chaos on-track, a situation diametrically opposite to their desires for the disc. The album may be rendered in 69/25 time, but the average music fan will never be able to tell – what probably is a controlled yet intricate set of attacks by CWV turn out for most to be the noisiest, most rambunctious music they’ve ever heard. What is interesting about “Neon Body” is the impressive mastering that marks the tracks contained within; instead of having 42 songs coming from 18 sources it sounds much more like one cohesive album.

Still, there are tracks that really stand out on “Neon Body”, specifically the two-vocal attack that happens during the plodding and intentional sludge of “Say Yes, To Cathode Ray Rock”. The band comes back to this style of all-in vocals during “Hank Cut Out His Bowels Again”, and it is truly when some sort of community is forged with CMV’s vocals that the band can really shine. Combat Wounded Veteran may be intense, choosing to fill all open spaces on “Neon Body” with the most noise their instruments can make, but it is essential that the band is not seen as metal or punk; they are truly a band that defines convention.

Combat Wounded Veteran might have broken up in 2003, but the music on “Neon Body” sounds new, owing much of its success to an expert masterer on these tracks and an undying commitment to communal music – everyone gets a shot on practically every track. The disc may not top out at over thiry minutes, but the sheer amount of music that is contained within will allow for someone to listen infinitely many time to this disc without fear of it getting stale.

Top Tracks: Say Yes, To Cathode Ray Rock , Hank Cut Out His Bowels Again

Rating: 6.3/10

Combat Wounded Veteran – This Is Not An Erect, All-Red Neon Body / 2005 No Idea / http://www.noidearecords.com/bands/combat.html / http://www.noidearecords.com / Reviewed 14 April 2005

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