No Hope In New Jersey - Steady Diet Of Decline
Liam McGrady 22/08/2005
“We play with abandon and disregard for current convention. And to my mind that's what you want with a live band. Not this streamlined stuff that passes for punk rock.” (NHINJ vocalist and songwriter, Andy Garratt.)
Manchester has a history of producing bands willing to both proclaim their greatness and rubbish anything else at every opportunity. It seems to be a breeding ground for attitude and brash arrogance. If you're going to make claims like the one above though, you'd better back it up. And while I can't speak for the NHINJ live experience, on record they just don't.
I was expecting and hoping for some ragged power, for the songs to be prickly and stinging; I wanted them to bite. Unfortunately all I got was some soft, toothless gumming.
Lead single 'Decline' threatened to be a little bit nasty, but turned out to be more Bon Jovi than Black Flag. And 'Joys In Regret' followed in a similar, sappy vein. A brief respite from the try hard, but unsuccessful attempts at being big, loud and heavy came in the form of 'Waste'; but that was only passable because it steals the whole of 'Learn To Fly' wholesale from the Foo Fighters.
I hate it when I'm led to believe that I'm getting something I want, but then don't. Maybe I'm expecting too much, but I just can't fathom how people have come up with descriptions such as, “a sound that drips with Punk Rock attitude” or “a maelstrom of devastating riffs and razor sharp lyrics” for this band. It's disappointing being lied to.