Navajo Code's album-accompanying C.V. is among the most impressive that's dropped into DiS's lap of late: shows in the UK alongside My Chemical Romance *and *Million Dead *won this quintet a decent following long before the completion of this ten-track debut, but more impressive is the fact that they've already made inroads into the States, only recently returning from a west coast tour with *Planes Mistaken For Stars *and *Bear Vs Shark. Hardly credentials to be scoffed at, we're sure you'll agree, but they don't answer the sole burning question that bursts into flame upon the arrival of any new release: is it any good?
Happily, the C.V. is backed up by some quite excellent post-hardcore; truth be told we'd expect nothing less, considering a substantial percentage of these musicians served time in Brighton-based punks* Scuttle. While Scuttle never quite made the commercial grade however well-received their EPs and shows were by the rock press, Navajo Code take the logical step of amplifying everything: passion, volume, _The Rock_. Tracks like _'Get The Glove'_ (a timely bashing of scene-striding fashionistas, at least on a literal lyrical level) and _'Saturday Night Wrists'_ (choice line: _"You've got the clap and we applaud you"_) provide a hefty punk-shaped fist to a face numbed by so much sound-alike and substandard music bearing the post-hardcore standard with little of substance to back itself up. They're not without their subtleties, too: _'Simon Says...'_ contrasts the silky smooth with the threateningly serrated to potent effect. Granted, categorising Navajo Code as post-hardcore is likely to have some approaching with caution, but please: think more of the No Idea school of *Small Brown Bike **circa Dead Reckoning and the aforementioned PMFS - bands with brutality enough to balance out their melodic inclinations - with a subtle hint of the naked aggression that made Bullet Union's Ruins Domino the must-have album it is.
Of course, Remove.Repair.Replace isn't without its faults - vocalist Matthew Lewendon is a master lyricist - songs are endlessly quotable - but his recorded delivery doesn't always convince, and a sense of generic familiarity does overshadow a select few songs - but if one bears in mind that this is a debut recorded on a relatively small budget (by Redjetson/Kids Near Water producer John Hannon), the few failings can be overlooked in favour of both the numerous on-record highlights and Navajo Code's bright future. Theirs is one filled with expansion, evolution and endless opportunities; with this as the foundations, expect sparks to be flying from these livewires for many a show and record to come. The C.V.'s only just been started.
7Mike Diver's Score