'Foul Taste Of Freedom'/'The Truth Hurts' Reissues
Release Date: 3rd June 2016
New York hardcore veterans Pro-Pain are nothing if not consistent. Since their formation in 1991 they have produced fifteen albums of original material plus a covers album and and a live album.
If you are a fan of their straightforward style where they lean towards the metal side of hardcore and combine heavy, almost thrash, metal style riffing with angry punk belligerence there aren't many weak spots in their back catalogue. They may never have broken really big but the consistent quality of their albums matched to a tireless workrate have meant that they have survived far into the twenty first century despite multiple line up changes. They have even remained angry at the world despite a move to the sunshine state of Florida.
SPV have decided that it's time to celebrate the history of the band and to sell some stuff to new and old fans. In the first of what I believe is a planned re-release of their entire back catalogue their first two albums, 'Foul Taste Of Freedom' and 'The Truth Hurts' have been made available in new remastered versions on CD digipack and vinyl.
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Back in 1991 Pro-Pain were formed from the ashes of Crumbsuckers by Gary Meskil and Dan Richardson. A year later 'Foul Taste Of Freedom' laid down the Pro-Pain blueprint and really put the band on the map. With it's potent mix of crushing metal style riffs, Meskil's raging growling vocals and memorable tunes like the furious title track and the metallic groove of 'Death On The Dancefloor' the album was a successful statement of intent.
'The Truth Hurts' followed a couple of years later with maybe a bit more of their hardcore and rap influences allowed to fuse with that distinctive metal riffery. The vocals got even more raucous and the chugging guitars were to the fore but musically they spread their wings a little with Ice-T making an appearance on 'Put The Lights Out' and even a talkbox and saxophone adding to the groove of 'One Man Army'.
Both of these albums are good value in themselves if metallic NY hardcore is for you but if you're already a fan are they worth shelling out for again for the extras? Both have been remastered but to be honest I can't really make out much difference in the sonics compared to the originals. Maybe on more expensive equipment than I use you could but is NY hardcore really meant to be a hifi buff experience? I don't think so.
'Foul Taste Of Freedom' has two bonus tracks. 'Take It Back' is Pro-Pain at their fastest and most furious, sitting astride the line that unites thrash metal and punk. The remix of 'Pound For Pound' certainly gives the track more oomph with everything sounding more in your face but isn't hugely different to the rap metal vibe of the original.
The press release I saw said that 'The Truth Hurts' would also have bonus tracks but there are only the ten original songs available so far as I can see. What the reissues do have is new liner notes and 'The Truth Hurts' has the original cover and booklet. The artwork of a woman stitched up after an autopsy was banned back in the day but can now be owned, even if still not displayed fully in the few CD shops that remain.
That's not a lot to persuade me to purchase these albums again but I am sure collectors will be tempted by the liner notes and certainly the chance to get these albums on vinyl. Personally I'd like to see some more extras on future Pro-Pain reissues but these releases show that the band's original sound and fury have not dated at all and still sounds fresh and relevant.