Band has problems, promise

Die 116

"Damage Control"


The New York City hardcore scene isn't what it used to be. In recent years, bands have either faded into nothingness, gone on a more mainstream path or stayed with the tried-and-true macho streetcore that has dominated the city for far too long.

But Die 116 is formed from the ashes of Burn and Rorschach, two of the finer and more original bands to come out of NYC over the past few years. And while their debut EP has its problems, it also has promise.

Since bassist Gavin Van Vlack who played guitar in Burn writes most of the music, it's only natural that Die 116 comes off sounding a lot like that sadly defunct outfit. The music is driven by a solid rhythm section, overlaid by intricate guitar ranging from melodic to heavy. "Over," "7 Years" and "Jesus Complex" are all pretty solid, with the churning music overwhelming the band's single shortcoming.

The shortcoming is the vocals, which are oddly flat. Singer Pete isn't bad, but the vocal patterns are dull and usually don't complement the music. At worst, on "Dislogic," the vocals actually detract from the song.

Apparently, Die 116 is preparing to release their first full-length album. It will be interesting to see if they've matured enough to live up to their potential.

The power is there it just needs to be let loose a bit more. Greg D'Avis

Die 116 will play Thursday night at the Downtown Performance Center, 530-B N. Stone Ave., with Metroshifter and Samuel Adams. Admission is $4. Call 628-1650 for more information.

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