Thrash Hits

September 16th, 2009

Album: the_Network – Bishop Kent Manning

the_Network promo photo Thrash Hits

the_Network
Bishop Kent Manning
Blackmarket Activities
15 September 2009

by Andy Parker

Not to be confused with the well-known side project (or so I thought…) from that Orange County trio Green Day (ie, The Network), the_Network, whilst not checking whether their name is already in widespread use, play Mathcore minus the math.

the_Network Bishop Kent Manning artwork packshot cover Thrash Hits

If this is the first time you are reading about them, don’t feel bad; despite starting way back in 2002, they have been in the slow cooker, with the Kurt Ballou-engineered Bishop Kent Manning being only their second full length album. And there’s a brilliant EP hidden inside this album – it’s just  a shame the 4 opening tracks which are so nondescript that most would have switched off long before giving it a proper chance.

The whole thing seems to have been compiled out of whack, a confusing statement to make when you have one of the greatest producers around at the helm of your record. ‘Service With A Smile’ may not be one of the strongest on here, but for me is where it begins. From there on in, ‘Telethons For The Rich’ is a blastfest spanning a little over a minute, leading into ‘Paranoid Deserter’ a sludgy jaunt which sounds like a wet behind the ears Botch being bummed by The Red Chord. And therein lies the problem.

the_Network try too hard to be their peers, rather than admiring them from afar. Frustratingly, it’s not to say they can’t write great songs – both ‘Corpse Paint’ and album closer ‘Bishop Kent Manning’ prove that, with their leanings towards epic mid-sections and crushing crescendos – but they seem so far removed from the rest of the album that you wonder whether this is two records spliced together in a mad panic.

Watch the_Network messing up some guy’s basement

If you are a big fan of Botch (and if you aren’t, what’s wrong with you? Seriously go buy Anthology Of Dead Ends right this minute) then once you hear that borrowed guitar sound, no matter how hard you try, that’s all your going to be able to think of, and then you’ll just sit there comparing and complaining rather than taking it for what it is. A solid effort, but the_Network still needs some work to smooth out the kinks.

3/6

Sounds like: Botch, Slowdown, The Red Chord
Top tracks: Corpse Paint, Bishop Kent Manning

the_Network – Bishop Kent Manning tracklisting
From Holy Water to Holy Wars
Following and Failing
Your Own Personal Time Bomb
Service with a Smile
Telethons for the Rich
Paranoid
Easter Just Stopped Showing
Corpse Paint
You Fucking Fakes
Bishop Kent Manning

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