Review: Verbal Assault

Verbal Assault
“Volume One: The Masses and Learn”
(Mendit Records)

Verbal Assault were around in the mid-80s, when hardcore was underground like those monsters from “Tremors”.  Mendit has taken it upon themselves to re-release two of their earlier efforts, “The Masses” and “Learn” to a world two decades removed from the Rhode Island skate-rock scene that spawned them.  And it still sounds good.

The first ten tracks comprise “The Masses” and illuminate the same roots that are found within Minor Threat, Agnostic Front and 7 Seconds.  Blaring through each of the tracks with reckless abandon, Verbal Assault showcase raw power and not much else.  It’s not until “Learn” that we really understand why Mendit decided to reissue the album.  “Learn” shows a better understanding of both song structure and an attention to detail that sets it apart from their earlier work.  Still though, why should you care?  Because of the raw vibrancy of the music itself.

The unabashed DIY ethos and simmering urgency within each machinegun power chord is exactly what’s lacking in today’s scene obsessed train wreck.