Verbal Assault


Verbal Assault ON/Exit LP

For some reason, VERBAL ASSAULT is one of those bands that has eluded my ears for years. In fact, it wasn’t until very recently that I’d even seen one of their records with my own eyes, and of course, I immediately purchased said record (the Learn EP, to be exact). So to see these two releases be reissued is phenomenal. Now to be perfectly clear, this is not the straight-up hardcore that was prevelant on the afformentioned record. These songs were originally released as two separate EPs in 1989 and 1991 respectively. With that, the face of hardcore had or was changing drastically at that point, and these songs, while still hardcore songs, have a bit more depth. There are times when I can hear the elements that likely influenced bands like INTO ANOTHER, etc., like phaser pedals and such, but it’s not overdone and adds layers to the cake. A solid reissue of some essential material here.

Verbal Assault Trial LP

Less than half the tracks here have enough oomph to make their long and drawn-out format hold my attention. But those that do have punch are good ones, delivering melodic but powerful hardcore à la late MINOR THREAT. No lyric sheet, a trademark of this increasingly impersonal label.

Verbal Assault The Masses cassette

There’s a decided MINOR THREAT/7 SECONDS influence here, which is, I’m sure, not accidental, given VERBAL ASSAULT’s straight-edge bent (unbent?). The comparison doesn’t end there, though, as the music is as tight, crisp, and committed as the aforementioned mentors, though not quite as assured. Good.

Verbal Assault Church Hypocracy cassette

Nine somewhat sloppy thrash songs with a pretty decent recording quality, but the intelligent political lyrics, which go far beyond the superficial, are the highlights of this tape. Among the subjects discussed are women (“We Love Girls”) and Poland (“Poland Crisis”).