Originally written by Gregory Bradley.
Angry, chaotic hardcore is the best way to describe Botch. The aforementioned chaos isn’t annoying or uncontrollable, I’d call it “organized chaos”. This EP actually blew me away towards the end, it has been a long time since I’ve had a chill of the magnitude that I received from “An Anthology of Dead Ends”. I only wish the album was longer! I also wish their career could’ve been longer, seeing as they have called it quits after nine years. But as they say, they’re kind of like Jesus, because their band died so others wouldn’t have to! The songs are very filled with anger, as you will be readily aware of once you have listened to the first four tracks. Each song title is the name of a country, but the name is spelled wrong in that all of the “n’s” are “m’s”. For example, the first track is entitled “Spaim”, the second track is “Japam”, and so forth. The first four tracks (well, minus the first track since it is only 14 seconds long) are actually some pretty excellent hardcore. Some cool time changes and riffage are to be had here. On to what really blew me away, the fifth track, entitled “Afgamistam” was truly excellent. It is a mellow track, so you may think I am insane when I say it gave me a monster chill when I heard it, but I tell no lie. The song sort of leads up to a part where the drummer gets repeatedly louder on the cymbals, but then nothing happens and they just hold you there in suspense for another two minutes with some piano in the background. This piano gives way to an eerie and deep sound, possibly a cello, then into some distorted noise which feeds into the last track. The distorted noise goes on for perhaps another minute, all the while a drum solo is building slowly and methodically. The drums get repeatedly heavier and build up to a massive scream and guitar blast that you have been waiting for for about 4 minutes, which is incredibly satisfying. It gave me such a blast of goosebumps, I was completely blown away. It is a very rare occasion when something this cool happens, I am still awestruck. That said, production is pretty good, it works for their hardcore sound. I like the cleanliness of “Afgamistam”, they produced it well. All other tracks are pretty chaotic, but the production is good nonetheless. They transition from a sort of intentionally off-key guitar riff to a powerful, driving hardcore riff on a many occasions, if you like hardcore then you like this. With all of my talking up this album you may be disappointed if it doesn’t hit you like a massive freight train as it did me. If you are a fan of hardcore in the least, then “An Anthology of Dead Ends” is your album to buy. I am a hardcore fan, so I was primed and ready for the sonic assault I received from Botch. I truly haven’t been so surprised by a band in quite some time, so if you are looking for something to lead you away from what you think is going to happen, then Botch is your new favorite band. I was so not expecting any of the mellow elements or the restraint shown by them. Their youth and vigor combined with the maturity of being able to hold back then pummel you with massive amounts of emotion is awe-inspiring. Highly recommended.