The Network This Is Your Pig's Portrait

After a good start but a relatively quiet ’06, Blackmarket Activities is back to prove it’s going to be a label worth keeping an eye on, but not necessarily with this disc. The Network are one of those bands bound to confuse all and please a select few. Is it hipster hardcore kids playing quirky grind with a technical hardcore edge or is it truly alienated kids playing aggressive music from the heart? I don’t know and neither will you, but despite the wildly herky-jerky nature of the music, it’s pretty enjoyable, at first. I honestly miss actual songs when I hear music like this, but there’s something in the Network’s delivery that keeps this one alive. The production sound is superb, all bass and slop. The addition of a completely irony-free acoustic song that turns into a technical grindcore freak-out four tracks in only makes things murkier, which I like. What I don’t like is this album going on and on, because all the technical gibberish may be kind of radical at first but after half an hour it starts to sound like one big temper tantrum. By disc’s end what once seemed novel just seems immature. While the drumming is pretty remarkable on songs like "Canon Figure,” that’s the only redeeming quality when all is said and done. It’s time for a new angle. (Metal Blade)