Sound — 9
Admiral Angry was a detuned sludge band from Los Angeles, California. Their early stuff is a bit difficult to track down, but "Buster" is the album you want on your iPod. If you like music that makes you want to crush everything around you, this album is for you. The album starts off with the sound of an amp, then immediately goes into a crushing guitar chord. The first time I heard this I was instantly hooked on this band. It plays a few bars of these spine crushing chords then kind of putters out into some droning chords.
The guitars drop out to let in a rather inappropriate drum beat, which then channels in to a riff that only consists of two notes. The vocalist shouts over the bouncy drum beat while the simple riff plays, until the whole band is jamming out to the two note riff. Afterwards, the first block destroying breakdown of the album kicks in, letting you know what you're in for.
The vocalist's tortured squawks definitely add AA's own touch on the genre. The tone of the guitars remind me of Meshuggah's tone on "Nothing," but cleaner in a good way. The drummer is definitely the lead instrument, as the guitars fall out many times for him to slam away on his kit.
Although, this album has a tendency to drag out. Sometimes the same riff consisting of one or two notes plays for a unusually long time. But I think it all works out really. "Kill Yourself," "Bug Vomit," "Blowdown," and "The Illusion of Strength" certainly could be called the key pieces of the album. The breakdown in the last track is so detuned you'll be wondering how you could still hear the notes. "Android" shows off the drummers true skills, leaving a drum solo at the end that sounds like buffalo pummeling toward you.
The breakdown at the end of "Bug Vomit" is the heaviest I've ever heard. Bar none. I think about it at least five times a day. It'll make Meshuggah or Gojira look like N'Sync in my opinion.
I can't stress how good the production is on this album. Everything is present at it's correct volume and the drums shine through it all. Every musician is fantastic at their instruments, and they stay tight throughout the entire album. Some songs on the album I feel could have been cut shorter. And that is my only complaint about this album.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics were written by their guitarist, who was dying of cystic fibrosis at the time. In my opinion, they deal with drugs and seeing the world as a cesspool. There is a lot of hatred in these lyrics. I mean A LOT. Definitely makes sense coming from a guy who was dying of a terrible illness. The guitarist also, allegedly, converted a five string bass into a seven string guitar. Truly a creative dude, whose life was sadly cut short.
The vocals, I think, capture the atmosphere brilliantly. The tortured shrieks define all that the guitarist was trying to get across. The lyrics are hopeless, spattered over house destroying riffs, and breakdowns. AND RIFFS. The riff in "Kill Yourself" is the heaviest riff I've heard in a while. But I digress, the lyrics all come together with everything else to truly make this album a masterpiece.
Overall Impression — 9
"Buster" certainly has a huge problem for me: it set the bar so high for heavy music. This album completely changed my opinion on heavy bands. Most riffs or breakdowns people show me don't even compare because this album set the bar high. Listen to this album full blast with a good pair of headphones, also. It has dominated my iPod since June '13.
Head over to Shelsmusic.com to pick up whatever merch they have of them. All proceeds will go toward cystic fibrosis research. Sadly, Daniel, the guitarist, was an irreplaceable figure in the band's lineup so the band called it quits. Letting this album be the second to last thing the released. The other being "A Fire to Burn Down the World." But this album shines over that, in my opinion.