- Expectations Exceed Reality
- Death Curse
- Pain Is a Warning
- The Devil's Blood
- Remember to Forgot
- Slave to Serenity
- This Is You
Release Date: August 15, 2011
Label: Black Market Activities
"Steve Austin, songwriter. A talent barely alive," said Converge's Kurt Ballou to Wet Nurse's Ryan Jones and Curran Reynolds. "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first decent Today is the Day album in over a decade. Pain is a Warning will be that album. Better than Steve was before. Better...stronger...less grindcorey."
Then they spent 6 million dollars recording the album, which I realize seems a bit high for an indie release, but wait til you hear the results! With Pain is a Warning, Steve finally drags his curmudgeonly ass out of the lo-fi grindcore gutter and gives us a proper follow-up to Temple of the Morning Star. The guitars are so loud it's ridiculous, the riffs are a metallic mix of twisted note runs and bombastic roaring chords, and Steve's vocals are his strongest in ages -- rather than shrieking like a woman, he alternates between his original white noise scream and a depressed yet tuneful singing approach.
Furthermore, the mix (by aforementioned Converge's Kurt Ballou) is awesome. The angry tension of "Expectations Exceed Reality" and "Death Curse" smashes your face until your nose is concave; the anthemic release of "Pain is a Warning," "The Devil's Blood" and "Samurai" floods your endorphins until they drown; and the quiet sorrow of "Remember to Forget" and "This Is You" literally reaches into your eyes to squeeze the tears out. Then there are two other songs, but you'll be too dead to hear them. But that's the nature of Today is the Day. They record albums that kill you.
It's not a perfect record, please understand. "Wheelin'" would probably have benefitted from a second part -- or, at very least, a fourth chord; "Slave to Serenity" squanders an epic Dio-style dragons & rainbows riff by pairing it with a dopey up'n'down lazyboat that belongs on one of TDID's lesser records; and "Expectations Exceed Reality" probably qualifies more as 'incredibly angry anger' than 'tuneful songsmithery.' But none of the songs are bad, and most of them are positively mind-squishing!
So thank you, Mr. Austin. And thank you, Mr. Ballou. And thank you two too, Messrs. Jones and Reynolds (Steve's current rhythm section). You've completely restored my confidence in the Today is the Day empire! - Mark Prindle