[ 5,887 views ]
01. Shadow Copy
04. Siberian Angel
05. Slang For Upstanding Men
06. Tunnel Rat
07. Numbing the Dream
08. Suicide Artist
10. Darmok V
Chicago's Millions put out a raucous debut back in 2009 with Gather Scatter. It was like Black Flag and Queens Of The Stone Age jamming together in the same room, battling it out for music domination. Dullness was not one of the album's trademarks, with a measure of raw harmonies and leads from guitarists Corey Lyons and Scott Flaster. Sadly, it wasn't scooped up by a wide enough audience, which is a real shame. For a follow-up, Millions avoids copying and pasting Gather Scatter by putting on a restrained performance with Failure Tactics.
Much of Failure Tactics is in line with the mid-tempo songs from Gather Scatter, like "Getting The Last Word" and "We Make Poor Decisions." The first half is where the songwriting developments made over the past three years are showcased, with a discrete improvement in the way of melodic build-up. "Shipwreck," "Pervert" and "Siberian Angel" are not about pummeling the listener with a cadence of feedback and static betrayal, which makes these songs both sonically interesting and harder to immediately grasp.
Gather Scatter had a wild side, which showed in the trade-off solos on "View From A Sinking Ship" and the outright cacophony of "Mile High Cake." Failure Tactics produces nothing as dominating as this though. There was always something exciting ahead on Gather Scatter, and though the band tries to realize this potential on the frantic second half of Failure Tactics, it still pales by comparison. "Slang For Upstanding Men" and "Suicide Artist" are the two songs that come closest to achieving the level of intensity heard on the last album.
Though there isn't anything to be shell-shocked by on Failure Tactics, that isn't to put down the way these four members tear into their instruments. The rhythm section is still a rock, and the audible bass boosts the songs. Millions hasn't gotten more upbeat, still laundering around in the darkness from a lyrical format. The vocals, split between three members of the band, roar and spit out verbiage about the decrepit state of humanity.
Millions concludes the album with a overbearing nine-minute tune by the name of "Darmok V." Not being a huge fan of "We Make Poor Decisions" from Gather Scatter, this closer is met with a similar reaction. The band's format is better suited for brevity, so having nine minutes to fill up is not in their favor. It does have the hopeless vibes down pat, as screams of "We'll never the sun again...we'll never see the moon," strip any chance of positivity away. By the halfway point, the band has exhausted all of their means, and they seemingly struggle to the dissonant finish line.
The lack of recklessness dampers Failure Tactics, and puts it slightly below their debut. However, seeing the band learn from their first album and try to step towards a more fulfilling sound makes this album worth checking out. Fans of Gather Scatter may be disappointed at the relatively tame instrumental work, but that's the price when a band manipulates their sound for the purposes of dynamics. For first timers to Millions, expect the noisier side of hardcore with Failure Tactics.
Bottom Line: Not as wild and reckless as Gather Scatter, but still a rousing hardcore record.