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CRUMBSUCKERS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Life of Dreams (Combat Core) 1986
Beast on My Back (Combat) 1988

Life of Dreams is second-rate New York (Long Island) hardcore with a metal crossover edge: the Crumbsuckers have the essential audio elements (speed, volume, chops, croaked vocals) but nothing much on their minds. The LP has one oddity — a discussion of the 1984 Presidential campaign in "Super Tuesday" — but otherwise offers such routine middle-class contemplations as "Live to Work" and "Bullshit Society."

Beast on My Back (aka B.O.M.B.) turns the Crumbsuckers on their heads, stylistically speaking. This time out, armed with a new flight-of-the-bumblebee lead guitarist and high-def production (Randy Burns, remixed by Genya Ravan), they're a speedmetal band with some recalcitrant 'core tendencies. The nine long songs (none under three minutes, two over five) have mosh parts and shouted vocals, but don't all rely on breakneck down-strumming or double-bass foot-pedaling. More impressive than listenable, B.O.M.B. is an exhausting ride to nowhere.

[Ira Robbins]