Black Friday Death Count – Front Toward Enemy

Black Friday Death Count

What kind of music do you get from a middle-aged dad whose curt sounding punk songs can be heard coming from a barn in Pennsylvania?

You get Black Friday Death Count from Line Lexington, Pa. The trio released its latest EP Front Toward Enemy in June 2015, making it the fourth EP release from the group since January 2014. Based on the band’s various social media accounts, it’s easy to get the impression that this is a prolific outfit which has garnered quite the following locally. 

In regard to those previous EPs, the band has a knack for delivering blunt, coarse, noise-filled tunes usually of a length of less than three minutes (the track Batman clocks in at a 1:04.) Rarely does this style allow for something melodic or soothing such as the natural harmonic string section and feminine vocals in the song Elanor, or the optimistic tone of Outro #2.

While Front Toward Enemy does offer a few melodic moments, none of them are soothing.

The opening track on this most recent collection of songs, titled My Natuzzi Weighs a Ton, begins with the thud of the bass. The bass is the dominating element in the mix on Front Toward Enemy as it provides a distinctive hum that stands out and is clearly heard rather than only felt or assumed like the majority of bass lines heard in modern-day recorded music. The guitar melody during the verse contains picked accented notes played mostly on the bottom fifth string of the guitar.

The vocals on this track and throughout the EP sound as if they are being shouted from a considerable distance away from the microphone. It seems as if the vocals were bellowed in a hallway with superb acoustics during the recording, likely an environmental preset on a reverb software plugin. I don’t know what the band’s vocalist and bassist, Sam Pinola, is shouting about but whatever it is, he sounds as if he feels much conviction about it.

At 2:25, the track speeds up and then breaks down for a metalcore type of outro.

Operator, the EP’s longest track at 4 minutes, provides a catchy rhythm section as the bass and drums nicely complement each other while they lock into a groove. The vocals are again shouted with great reverberation.

Back Breaker 2(Electric Vindaloo) reminded me of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades due to both songs opening with a solo bass line and some high-tempo work on the snare. The EP closes with the power-chord filled ruckus anthem Beach Head, which barely makes it past the two-minute mark.

Don’t confuse this genre with blink-182, Relient K, or any of those more contemporary pop punk acts. This style is more in line with the brash, rebellious punk bands that emerged in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s: Black Flag, Minor Threat and such.

Much like the members of those hardcore punk bands, the members of Black Friday Death Count sound as if they play too hard, too fast, and with too much passion to ever worry about playing every note of a song meticulously.

The group’s music can be heard on Facebook, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, and CDBaby. If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic for those early days of anarchistic punk or even just a fan of punk in general, Front Toward Enemy is recommended.

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