Process Black – Countdown Failure

2 out of 5

Label: Deathwish

Produced by: Aaron Edge (recorded by)

While I do respect that Process Black’s sole official release to date (2022) sounds quite different from much out of label Deathwish’s roster – a very 90s hardcore vibe, as opposed to DW’s generally punkier output – beyond that kind of nostalgic swirl, it’s pretty unremarkable: a solid, gritty sound not put to much use.

Which is a wholly unfair way of brushing this off, when I do want to underline that I called it solid, and gritty. Those values don’t necessarily come easily, and I do quite love the carved out nature of Aaron Edge’s guitar, and the slow roll doom of Brock Lowry’s percussion. It’s very sludgy stuff, but not played at that pace, pitched instead with a bit of a Helmet / Orange 9mm skate / funk (don’t kill me) vibe, a sound that’s I’m probably leaning to thanks very much to vocalist Tim Singer’s throaty yell, which reminds me of Chaka Malik’s.

Unfortunately, Malik’s dynamism and occasion for some sharp lines don’t extend to Singer, who definitely gets the “solid, gritty” thing, giving us an angry speak / shout, but the lyrics are back of notebook stuff, coming across as last minute additions to some riffs his friends in Process Black put together. This works okay for the introductory Lies > Truth – a couple bars of words and chords repeated – but wears pretty thin when the same general approach happens for two more songs. And the downside of this nostalgic sound is that you know you’ve heard bands do more with it, besides not having the distraction of punk’s speed to blaze past some same-soundy moments.