Two Minutes Hate – Strong and On

If all I knew about Two Minutes Hate came from their website, I would never have picked up this disc. Describing themselves as “your typical punk band” and citing bands like Bad Religion, Pennywise and Green Day as influences, I can honestly say I doubt I probably wouldn’t have given this CD, well, two minutes.

Fortunately for both the band and myself, Two Minutes Hate has done a particularly awful job of describing their sound via the web. Despite the band’s persistant claims of being “punk”, their sound is much closer to east coast hardcore (not surprisingly, the band is based in Baltimore). Maybe the band evolved faster than the website?

Sometimes Minor Threat, sometimes D.R.I., sometimes M.O.D., sometimes Biohazard, always aggressive, Strong and On contains twelve rapid fire tracks. Faster than Bad Religion and dirtier than Green Day, tracks range in style from the typical sing-along punk anthem (“American Blue”) to the thrash-inspired chunkfest (“Strong and On”). “Stomp of Approval”, the disc’s last track, reminded me of old Sick Of It All. “Two Minutes Hate” is a fairly accurate monniker; while the band’s two “epics” clock in at 3:30, a few of the tracks like “Fallguy” and “Perserverance” never reach the 90 second mark.

Recording quality is dirty, messy … and perfect for this kind of music. It’s the kind of production that gives bands street cred over record deals. It wouldn’t be hard to pick the album apart technically — some of the songs are mixed louder than others, and the guitar tone and level changes significantly on a few songs; however, I have a feeling Two Minutes Hate could give a shit about that. The focus here is on the energy and the attitude, something that does shine through and rises above any recording or technical difficulties.

Strong and On is what it is — twelve thrash influenced punk and hardcore tracks, averaging two minutes in length. While not particularly innovative (the album would have easily fit into the mid-80’s thrash/hardcore scene), Two Minutes Hate’s does everything right. What the band lacks in originality, they more than make up for with aggression and energy. Those looking for a nice throwback to the classic days of punk and hardcore should check this disc out. Oi!

01. Perseverance
02. American Blue
03. Strong and On
04. I See with Spirit
05. Harvest Rapture
06. Little Nathan
07. Beg to Differ
08. Mindlock
09. Fallguy
10. Separate Lives
11. Studs
12. Stomp of Approval

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