Penalty Kill -- Penalty Kill EP
Originally released as a cassette late last year, Penalty Kill's self-titled EP on Fear of War Records is a six minute burst of tight, thrashy songs about ice hockey. A family affair, Penalty Kill consists of The Garden's Fletcher and Wyatt Shears backed by their father, Shattered Faith's Steve Shears. While The Garden has been progressively expanding and diversifying their sound into more experimental and directions, Penalty Kill is about as straightforward hardcore as it can get. While there is a modicum of novelty in the disk's choice of subject matter, where it really distinguishes itself from the slush pile of equally blistering releases is in the Shears' musicianship. Whereas some lesser outfits rely on speed to mask their limitations, Penalty Kill play really well and really fast. That said, while "In The Net," "Tartan Room," and the band's cover of the U.K. Subs' "Police State" might warrant an extra spin or two, the disk lacks the originality of the Shears' other work and doesn't really strike me as one I would put into heavy rotation.
Sobriquet Grade: 73 (C)