Preceding the release of Showbread's Solid State debut (No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical) was this independent full-length on Steel Roots Records. Sounding like a rougher and rawer version of No Sir…, Life Kisses and Other Wasted Efforts captures Showbread in their formative stages. Not as focused as their Solid State debut and nowhere near as polished and melodic as Age of Reptiles, this record is easily inferior to both later releases. What Life… offers in large amounts however, is an intense dose of the spastic aggressiveness that Showbread appears to have lost in recent years.
Life, Kisses, and other Wasted Efforts is a thirteen-track assault on the senses. Each song features both vocalists Josh Dies and Ivory Mobley taking turns screeching Dies' cynical lyrics over loud and raucous riffs that are supported in sheer volume by the rest of the band. Due to the consistency with which Showbread deliver their attack (pummel, scream, repeat), all the songs on Life… end up blurring together after only a few listens - a trap that even No Sir… expertly avoided. It's a regrettable byproduct of an otherwise solid album filled with the type of spastic hardcore that this band has apparently abandoned all-too-soon.
Showbread completists and those missing the sheer intensity of the band's early days would do well to check out Life, Kisses, and Other Wasted Efforts. The rest, however, can satisfy themselves with the far superior (and much more easily accessible) No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical.- Review date: 2/10/07, written by Sherwin Frias
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