Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bands to watch out for: Biohazard

There are so many bands these days that it can be hard to hear all of them. You don't have all day to order demos from the back of Metal Maniacs, ask Johnny Z what new stuff he has at Rock N Roll Heaven, or browse Napster/PureVolume/YouTube/Twitter/iTunes/MySpace/AOL keyword Thrash, so you need someone to help you sort through the crap and find the best new artists. That's why we're starting a new feature here at Metal Inquisition called Bands To Watch Out For, in which we highlight the best new artists that we think you'll like.

Our first installment is about a hungry young band from Brooklyn called Biohazard. I've seen them at L'Amours a few times, and the Twitterscape can't get enough of them- we think they're going to be big.


Sound
More and more bands these days are combining influences from a lot of styles. For example, Mordred plays a hybrid of thrash, funk, and rap, drawing influence from anything from K-9 Posse to Armored Saint, or Dave Mustaine's new solo album that is equal parts ska, industrial, and rockabilly (with a DJ). Like Mordred, it's really hard to pin down Biohazard's sound.

Most people in New York City ride the subway a lot I think. It seems kinda scary and dirty to me, but I guess if you are from Brooklyn and wear knit hats then you probably look working class and people don't mess with you, so it's probably OK for Biohazard to use it as their main form of transportation.

I had never thought of putting rap lyrics over Agnostic Front riffs, but basically that's what Biohazard does. It kind of reminds me of what a lot of old school hardcore bands like Fury of V, E-Town Concrete, or Comin' Correct were doing back in the early 00's, only not as authentic.

I think the singer collects novelty headwear or something.

I mean I'm sorry, but I don't really buy the tough guy act from a bunch of dudes from Brooklyn!! What happened, someone splashed mud on your new fixie?? LOL! Go cry about it on Bike Snob NYC, don't write a hardcore song about it!

Seems like these guys have a really strong sense of community, like they really want to keep it real and stay connected to their people. For example here the singer is kicking it with some infantile retard from the neighborhood and giving him a tutorial on wiggerish arm movements. Wish I had a mentor like that when I was a kid so I could have been listening to Cold Front and Dmize instead of LFO and Mest :(

I don't listen to a lot of rap, but I think these guys do because a lot of their songs are about how they are from the streets and are really physically intimidating/have been through hard times but are now tougher than ever because they survived it. I know how that feels because I have no idea how I got through my last semester of school- I had 13 credits and was working like three shifts a week checking people's ID at the fitness center at school (I have work-study financial aid). The only thing that kept me going was listening to "Tales From The Hardside" on my Zune and repeating to myself "I can do this! I can do this!"


I found this interview with them on YouTube, they seem really intent on talking about how bad the neighborhood they live in is. They could probably find something affordable in a nicer place if they would just spend a few minutes on Craigslist. My friend says that Jersey City has some cool bars and isn't as lame as it sounds, it seems kind of far out to me though. Also, if they lived somewhere nicer then they probably wouldn't be as inspired by all the urban discipline they see every day so maybe it's better for them to stay in Canarsie, I don't know.

It's really life-affirming stuff to hear about how these guys survive against the gritty backdrop of Brooklyn and channel all their pain into their band- super inspiring for me. I have some friends who are going to school in New York and they are dealing with a lot of the same things; rent is really expensive in Williamsburg now and they can barely get by on their student loans/allowance. A lot of them even had to get jobs. They do a couple iPod DJ gigs a month for extra cash, which sucks because they have a lot of homework and it's easy to fall behind on it, then next thing you know you get an angry phone call from your mom because she looked online at your grades and you have a B- in "History of Sex."

I think the guy with the missing teeth is the one from the cafeteria. I'm going to ask my mom about Pratt's dental insurance, maybe he can get them fixed.

Anyway, it doesn't really say exactly what the guys in Biohazard do for a living in their lyrics but from the looks of them I imagine they probably drive Pepsi delivery trucks in Queens, work at gas stations, or just do like random manual labor because they can't read. I could swear I saw one of them working in the cafeteria when I went to visit my friend at Pratt, but I didn't want to ask if it was him because he looked really mad (he was the one at the sundae bar and got kind of pissy when I asked him for double sprinkles [but he didn't charge me extra, he probably could tell I was cool because I was wearing a Suicide Silence shirt]).


This looks like a Saturday Night Live sketch. Is that Andy Samberg in a wig?

Image/Branding

They seem like cool guys who like to have fun, but I feel like they're trying a little hard to do the whole Municipal Waste/Toxic Holocaust thing. I mean they're definitely good at it, but the thing is that they take it a little too far. In order for it to be funny, it has to be a little bit believable, you know? We talked about this in my "Entertainment Business" class the other day: If all you do is combine every ridiculous cliche from crossover fashion into your characters, it's too much. You have to use some restraint or you just end up looking like a cartoon. Overkill, Toxik, and Xentrix are much better at doing the retro-thrash thing without going over the top.

The singer seems kind of confused. He looks like David Vincent meets Ashton Kutcher circa 2002. The whole trucker hat thing is kind of played out and it doesn't really make any sense when coupled with the leather vest, I think he should just choose one look to focus on. I don't know what he is going for but I'm not really into hipster metal.

Also, it's sort of hard to understand them when they talk. They all sound like Rocky or something, or like they just got back from the dentist and their tongues are all swollen and numb. I don't know if maybe if they all met in some kind of support group for people with traumatic brain injuries but it seems like they should see if their parents' insurance covers speech therapy (I asked my mom and she said it should, she is a claims processor for Aetna).


I don't know who the black guys in this video are but it's cool that Biohazard earned their respect, I guess if you are from Brooklyn and stuff people will treat you like a badass.



In this video Bobby from Biohazard is interviewing the singer for some band called The Madballs. I'm not familiar with them but they seem lame, the guy is wearing a hat that says "DMS" on it, which I guess is his fraternity or whatever. You're in Europe, dummy, nobody knows about your stupid frat!


I've been thinking about getting a tattoo (if my parents say it's OK). I want to make sure that my first one is something I'm really happy about. The singer for Biohazard was on Miami Ink and he got this one. I think he's going to regret it- why would a skull be saying "for the win"?? It doesn't even make sense LOL!

What's next?
I feel like kids now are really open-minded so I see big things for Biohazard. It's not like before where a kid would only listen to one kind of music. For example, I have really eclectic tastes. One minute you will find me listening to Exhorder and the next I will be playing Pantera. I think a lot of other kinds are the same, so they will probably really like how Biohazard is like half rap, half power groove. I'm not really into their whole "hipster metal" image with the ironic hats/crunk parts and stuff, but whatever, the music is good so I can look past it.

Biohazard's singer is yet another dude from Brooklyn who thinks it's cool to drink cheap beer, how original. I'm so over hipster metal! Go listen to Mastodon you jerk!!

If you are into bands who aren't afraid to cross genre boundaries like Mucky Pup, Dance Hall Crashers, and Violent Playground, you will probably really like Biohazard! Definitely pick up their tape if you see it at Camelot, I am pretty sure they still have a few copies left at the Everett Mall.

50 comments:

  1. This post is working on a level that whiskey won't let me comprehend.

    Seriously, if there was a metal site that talked about bands I like and wasn't all nostalgia like this site, I would love it. I know these bands must be out there, since they make Sumerian pirate metal they must also make "good" metal too. My favorite gimmick.

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  2. just saw them live a few weeks ago. pretty lame.

    the get one stage 1 hour late due to "being stuck into a traffic jam" (it's madrid, spain, on a tuesdays night it's not new fockin york). No apologies at all then Graziadei goes like "we've heard some ppl left, go and tell them to fuck off!" oh yeah that's really NYHC attitude you cunt pay some respect to working class people who has to wake up on time every single day of the week.

    The old-new guitarrist was kind of hilarious though: so much into it, moving all around, but it felt so out of place and time.

    anyway. seinfeld should stick playing in OZ rather than go on a reunion tour with a weirdo just out from rehab.

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  3. "For example, I have really eclectic tastes. One minute you will find me listening to Exhorder and the next I will be playing Pantera"

    Your blowing my mind.

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  4. Ha ha exceent review as usual

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  5. I have that whole Dynamo 1995 Headbanger's Ball Special on video-tape (with the Into The Pit that followed), I think I watched this video on a daily base for 2 years back then, very cool live from Trouble, Paradise Lost, etc...

    I still watch it from time to time...


    The Biohazard guitarist is wasted non-stop

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  6. Wouldn't it be crazy if:

    - Members of this band go on to do porn?

    - We find out that their early releases featured racist/nazi lyrics...which is kinda' funny since Evan is jewish?

    That aside, what's with the orange hunting hats? I thought they were from Brooklyn, not rural Pennsylvania.

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  7. In the last photo with beer he looks like Barney from Napalm Death...

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  8. Frank took my comment. That guy looks like Barney more than Evan. Anyway, I finally found out why he was so into hats. What happened to him? Sometimes I wonder how people lose their hair so fast. I've been losing mine since 1994 I'd say, but I'm still not bald. In 1993 Evan had all his hair and then, in 1994, you can see that video where he's rapping with those black dudes and he is missing all the hair from the top of his head?!?! Now I understand why the 2nd or 3rd time (they used to play in Argentina year after year!) I saw them live he was totally shaved.

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  9. Regarding Evans hair:

    If you were pacing around your mom's Brooklyn apartment, trying to figure out how to pay the rent on your small Bio-Earnings...you'd rip your hair out too!

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  10. On a semirelated note, can I make a request for a post about Dominick Delucca, Headbangers Balls 'Man On The Streets'?

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  11. Blast from the past, check it:

    http://www.complex.com/CELEBRITIES/Complex-Men/The_Scene-Ster_Dominick_Deluca

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  12. I live 5 blocks from the subway in Brooklyn!! Shit is mad brutal and scary as fuck. Sometimes I duck into the nearest patisserie (Sattepani) and pick up a croissant just to get by. Bomb ass tasty.

    I want to know where those hipsters got those early 90's clothes...

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  13. I too lived 5 (more like eight) blocks from the subway in Brooklyn.It was right after Sept 11th actually.

    Yo, it was mad tight. Back then, Park Slope was no joke! There was only like two Sushi joints around, and family owned bodegas were still everywhere. Ewwwww! By the time the Yoga place opened, I knew it was all over. My block had no street cred. For reals, I lived right by where Rick Ta Life got jacked. Man, even with the Target and the DSW warehouse, Brooklyn aint no joke. Represent! W train...inbound!

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  14. if you took out the word "biohazard" and inserted "candiria" into the post it would still make sense...well kinda. I would never have thought that a city's 'burbs is capable making better music than the city itself. I'm glad you didn't make reference to 24-7 spyz in the post-too predictable.

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  15. "or just do like random manual labor because they can't read."

    i just spit sunflower seeds all over my computer at work.

    great post.

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  16. That settles it- I'm off to Everett Mall. I'm definitely going to hit up Pizza Haven at Eat Street on my way out. Let's meet up at the KarmelKorn right outside the Pay'N Save!

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  17. Someone should do an investigative report on Anthony Meo. He was Biohazard's first drummer. I remember seeing a show with Biohazard opening for Leeway and Exodus at L'amour's in Brooklyn and Anthony was rocking a fat gold rope chain. The guy looked like a maniac!

    He looked like a mix of a Bensonhurst guido and a Lower East Side crackhead.

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  18. "or just do like random manual labor because they can't read."

    Thanks, I'm glad you noticed! This was my favorite part as well. Also, the insurance stuff.

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  19. That settles it- I'm off to Everett Mall. I'm definitely going to hit up Pizza Haven at Eat Street on my way out. Let's meet up at the KarmelKorn right outside the Pay'N Save!

    Yes!!! Eat Street!!!! I totally went to that crappy taqueria when I was in town over the holidays, it was as shitty as ever.

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  20. Though not as heavy of a mall, I picked up my copy of the tape at the Auburn Super Mall.

    Super deep discount FTW!

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  21. Auburn, ew :( I'll go to Southcenter for their amazing Forever 21, but I prefer not to venture south of downtown or north of Lynnwood (the Alderwood Mall is my home base). Bellevue Square is full of rich, hot azns so I'll hit that up too. They have a really good Zumiez there.

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  22. I'm actually about 10 minutes from Southcenter. I'd much rather ride my bike to Bellevue though. All the ladies and no shootings.

    I just really like saying "Super Mall".

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  23. i LOVED biohazard in high school! i still jam "urban discipline" on the reg, but i should really start dipping into the rest of their extensive catalog.

    love this pic: http://headbangersblog.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/anthrax21008.jpg

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  24. Anon Old School Metal GuyAugust 13, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Great post! I just read in RIP magazine that the rapper from "New Jack City" is putting together a metal band, thought it'd be something you might be interested in. I'll wager that it'll be quite tasteful with well-crafted and thoughtful lyrical content. Looking forward to it!

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  25. loved the K-9 Posse reference, lol

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  26. I just read in RIP magazine that the rapper from "New Jack City" is putting together a metal band,

    Wait, what?? A rapper in a metal band?! I'm going to have to look into this!

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  27. Is the bald Evan guy the one who bangs a pornstar?

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  28. yes Frank, and I think the pornstar is his wife.

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  29. Anon Old School Metal GuyAugust 13, 2009 at 4:18 PM

    Seriously Sarge, Mr. Friend's article claims this record will address such diverse topics as this rapper's (I think he's called Ice-something) childhood relationship with his mother, his visit to New Orleans, drug addiction and even his feelings on modern law enforcement tactics. I cannot wait!!

    Off topic, but have you seen this?

    http://decibelmagazine.com/Content.aspx?ncid=320438

    If you didn't write it, I think Decibel owes you royalties or something.

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  30. What! I'm suing those fuckers! WTF.

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  31. I love the toxic waltz reference in the decibel review. Their choice of words is disturbingly similar to yours. A lawsuit is definitely in order here.

    "One minute you will find me listening to Exhorder and the next I will be playing Pantera." - pure genius

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  32. you guys need to look up a band on Deathwish inc called Cold World.
    also, you are geniuses.

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  33. See, this is the kind of thing that happens when you grow up on "the wrong side of the tracks".

    BTW, who gave those Wiggers those rock guitars? who let 'em in the club? did they make 'em pay?

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  34. "half rap, half power groove"

    This is too much.

    PS. Rick Ta Life is definitely in the "Punishment" video

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  35. you guys need to look up a band on Deathwish inc called Cold World.

    I have heard them. I really WANTED to like them, but they just left me underwhelmed, ya know??

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  36. I love when you poke fun at bands I like (or liked in the past). I still dig Bio, but this was pure gold.

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  37. Yeah, Evan's wife is Tera Patrick.

    Craig Pillard looks like he's in the Punishment video.

    Did Devourment really steal the Suffocation alien baby for their cover?

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  38. i rock Urban Discipline on the reg too. BUT, and this is an important "but", i hate the Bad Religion cover on that record. I hate the demo tracks at the end...and whenever i hear the chorus to "tears of blood" i cringe a good bit.

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  39. i have urban discipline on my ipod sans the crappy demo tracks they tacked on at the end. the bad religion cover is pretty bad, but it's short so it doesn't bother that much. the chorus and lyrics to "tears of blood" are pure retardation. whenever i hear "hold my own" it makes me want to punch a gorilla in the face. remember how the cd was GOLD?

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  40. Sarge, where's the love for Pacific Place... they had a J. Peterman store there...

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  41. Dude Pacific Place sucks. There's nothing there but the $12 theater. The cool thing about Seattle's downtown shopping area is that it's not all centered in a mall, but scattered around so it makes for a more vibrant, walkable area. You've got cool stuff like Quiksilver, that awesome H&M, Urbn, Diesel, G-Star, etc all within an easily walkable area, but you still feel a sense of discovery that's missing from a mall.

    (That was the least metal thing ever written)

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  42. Man, I gotta check these dudes out! Thanks for the heads up because I have a hard time keeping up with what the kids are into now. Those Madballers sound pretty tight too.

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  43. sarge, i wonder if you may like Deez Nuts. they put raps on top of neo-90s style moshcore. stuff about working hard and fucking.

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  44. Don´t forget the guys from Merauder in the punishment video. To u731 from Madrid, the next day in Bilbao, Biohazard arrived 2 hours late and started to play at 2 am. The place was half empty hahaha but they rocked the house with the help of SNFU´s meth consumed singer helping them with the Bad religion cover. New hc band to check out : Trapped under ice "Secrets of the world" very good shit in the vein of Crown of thornz, breakdown, etc.

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  45. "Punishment video = DMS roll call" - Metal Inquisition Director of Latin American Communications Jose Galvan

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  46. I think the guy who would be missing teeth would be the one who created this page. If you 're a dick full of shit than just don 't write about things which are real - like Biohazard, if you don 't like brooklyn and the harsh life in it, just listen to britney spears man, and post something nice and pink. That would be cool. Cheers.

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  47. You calling Biohazard kids? They're 40 now -___-. Biohazard and Madball all day! NYC REPRESENT!

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  48. This newer band Anthrax are definitely trying to ride the coattails of these guys to get some NYHC cred. Jackson Heights is filled with hip-hop but it's not Canarsie.

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  49. I appreciate your excellent post . Like it .

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