Crash – “Endless Supply of Pain” (1994)

This is another gem I bought on our recent trip to Seoul.  Who knew South Korea was putting out such great hard rock/metal back in the early 1990s???  Not this guy…

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Crash let you know what you’re in for right from the get-go with the thrash tune “Scream,” it’s heavy and staggered guitar riffs not as much provide a flow as they do a series of jackhammer bursts to break up the rocks inside your brain.  The vocals are aggressive with violent lyrical content, which is why you’ll also sometimes see the band described as death metal.  What I find particularly interesting about Endless Supply of Pain when compared to the debut of Crash’s South Korean contemporaries Asiana, 1990s Out On The Street, is the production value.  Whereas Out On The Street felt sonically flat in the recording, Endless Supply of Pain is extremely well constructed, no doubt due to the able assistance of UK metal producer Colin Richardson.  This album is perfectly mixed, with each instrument (including the voice) finding space to be heard – even the bass is right there in front of you, not something you have to strain to hear as separate from the drums.  It doesn’t sound flat like Asiana does, but instead full and rich.

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The most intriguing song on the album is “최후의 날에” (♠), which closes out side A.  The only tune with lyrics in Korean, it starts slow and makes you think you’re in store for something ballad-like before exploding into a thrash-fest reminiscent of Pantera, and that’s praise I don’t thrown around lightly.  The riffs are cohesive with transitional sequences from one part to the next that give it a better flow that many of Crash’s other songs.  Crash also treat us to a very heavy cover of “Smoke On The Water”, shouting the lyrics at you like an accusation as if you were the “some stupid with a flare gun” who burned the place to the ground.  Guys, it wasn’t me, I swear!

(♠) “On The Last Day”