# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Pipedown - Mental Weaponry

  by Alex Halls

published: 10 / 5 / 2004

Pipedown - Mental Weaponry
Label: A-f Records
Format: CD


Spectacular blend of punk, hardcore and rock'n' roll on second album from hard-working Californian five-piece Pipedown, who have toured as support with Anti-Flag and Death By Stereo

It is only when that unknown album drops through your letterbox that you begin to realize the strength of those obscure bands you might have otherwise paid no attention to. Let this album be a warning to your dismissive mind... Since 1997 and from Californian roots, Pipedown have been crafting a blend of punk, hardcore and rock ‘n’ roll , but why haven’t we heard of them much before ? Who knows !! Presumably time and a lot of hard graft are beginning to pay off for this five-piece who have begun to tour as support for Anti-Flag and Death By Stereo: accreditation doesn’t come much better than this. Only Pipedown’s second full-length release, 'Mental Weaponry' is interlaced with strength and passion. The band seem keen on motivating their fans into improving our world which remains in a circling state of destruction from the hands of the irresponsible. Rather than slip that fiduciary payment into a councillor’s back pocket, 'Mental Weaponry' would be a better investment : after all, you can’t go spend it down the city strip joint. The album does justice to Pipedown’s cause due to its engrossing nature: one can imagine armies rallied by penetrating lyrics and the thumping music. Pipedown are aware of the plight of other peoples, evidencing this in 'The Overworld': “There’s a rain forest dying, and a baby crying. In a third world country where the families trying. Bringing - home what they are making from the trees they’re raping, as the slave class culture for the first class nation.” Later, the desperation within Sierra Leone is highlighted along with the West’s inability to truly step in where it matters; causes far too often overlooked. 'Ammunition' provides the cream of the guitaring on Mental Weaponry and marks the beginning of some great song introductions; from the light to the heavy in spectacular fashion, the album’s torso is exhibitive of what makes live sets stand out from the crowd, captured in studio quality. Vocals are harsh, giving them the ability to push the message conveyed yet further and can give your ear drums a damn good bashing if you’re not careful. What strikes me most is the booklet that come with the CD. The lyrics are there, of course, as are the usual thank yous, but, amongst the best artwork I’ve seen on a front cover in a long while, are the words of writers of great fame. What is it about the new bands on the scene and their educated outlook on life ? Quoting Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Virgil, as well as Arne Naess, a peace activist whose concept of ‘ecosophy’  engendered thought of ecological equilibrium, it becomes clear that the album has been formed on inspiration as well as intelligence; providing absolute class. The only gripe I have with this album is it does become similar near the end, although this would not trouble hardcore aficionados. For those whose inception into hardcore this may be, the album provides much to go on. Slick, entertaining, meaningful and downright rocking, 'Mental Weaponry' is almost as good as it gets in this genre. Integrated with a raspy rock ‘n’ roll feel, Pipedown have not only provided us with a great album but have gone that little bit further in enlivening a rather uninventive scene.

Track Listing:-
1 Subversion As Rhetoric
2 Losing The Sum
3 Knowledge The Weapon
4 Ammunition
5 Leviathan
6 Transmission
7 The Overworld
8 Order
9 Control
10 Sierra Leone
11 Muppet Goes To Washington
12 Voids
13 Outro

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