Lethal Means Zero Sum Game LP

LETHAL MEANS force their hands to mechanically tweak a naturally simplistic Scandinavian hardcore approach with decent ability. In other words, they squiggle around the frets to ring out a few extra notes and adjust the verse-chorus structure a bit (see the aptly titled “Ad Nauseam”). The subtle technicality of the opener “Break Free” gave hope that LETHAL MEANS would offer something intriguing, but overall there were maybe three attention-grabbing moments here. I’ve never listened to stadium crust cause the good lord didn’t plan that in my life’s trajectory, but LETHAL MEANS’ catchy riffs, endlessly pounding drums, smooth production, and more technical playing inevitably creates an “epic” sound that I assume is indeed stadium crust. “Break Free,” “Serve No Man,” and the closer “Life Cannot Be Owned,” which feels inspired by but lacks the swing and ease of DEATH SIDE’s “Crossfire,” could’ve served as an acceptable 7″. Low points are an instrumental track featuring video game-like sound effects of decommissioned military planes and album art featuring the Grim Reaper stroking a phallic atomic cloud, which seems appropriate for presumably older punk men doing their take on music written by children 40 years ago.