by Jason Schreurs
Just when hardcore needed an injection of something progressive, interesting, and kick-ass, along comes Sex Positions. Like the evil stepson of Black Flag and The Refused, this band completely annihilates the conventions of hardcore with precision distortion and studio trickery (with thanks to uber-producer Kurt Ballou). Formed out of the demise of Boston posi-core pushers The Dedication (who were mediocre at best, tragically boring at worst), Sex Positions rips and tears at anyone within spitting distance. The tunes here are angry and spastic yet somehow retain their fist-in-the-air positivity throughout. Producer Ballou (Converge, Curlupanddie, and a host of other metalcore bands) pulls every God City Studios trick out of his bottomless sleeves on this one, using Pro-Tools up the yazoo. Instead of coming across contrived though, Sex Positions makes a pretty good case for digital enhancement to hardcore. Don’t worry, this rocks out too, it’s not just unlistenable screech and chaos, Locust-style freak-outs, or computerized mumbo-jumbo (although sound effects are used in bucketloads). In fact, upon closer inspection, this CD is chocked full of spot-on anthems like “Aphrodite Dear”, “You’d Better Start Running”, and “The Dead Lay Very Still” with lyrics that get more and more important with each listen. Okay, and throw in a few of those love-gone-wrong songs we just can’t seem to get enough of. Of course, Deathwish house designer Justin Bannon (Converge) is along for the ride, giving the CD booklet a look and feel that matches the dark mood swings of the album perfectly. The Refused is lurking somewhere close-by in the shadows for most of these tracks, but fans of the Swedish moppets will be surprised to see a relatively small band from Boston taking the shape of punk to come just a little further left of center. Now let’s all hope Sex Positions doesn’t implode under its own pressure, like all life-affirming bands seem to, and leaves us with only this one pure glimmer of the future of hardcore.