After years of dormancy, vocalist Lee Ving has reignited Fear with new personnel playing the exact same brand of militant, gob-inspiring hardcore John Belushi once slam-danced to. However, today's unit plays with more clarity and urgency than the Fear of old, probably due in part to the addition of bassist Scott Thunes. At the same time, Ving's lyrical world view has grown significantly uglier. Once you get through no less than four odes to beer on this album, the lyrics assume the same, half-humorous, half-serious angry white man veneer that created a career for Hank Williams, Jr. From the tongue-in-cheek sexism of "Honor and Obey" to the reactionary law-and-order of "Public Hangings" and "Untermenschen" (which is German for "subhuman"), Fear walk a paper-thin line between irony and incitement. It's powerful stuff that still manages to capture some of the urban nihilism that fueled the scene from which Fear sprung. I like to think it's supposed to be funny, but it's the kind of joke that makes you feel sick to your stomach for laughing at it.
2.5 stars -- Greg Beets