First of all, if you've not experienced the hardcore kick in the face that is TERROR's "One with the Underdogs", go buy the damn thing now! Give thanks that bands like TERROR continue to play real hardcore — violent and uncompromising, blue collar and true. Thanks to the good folks at Trustkill, you're now given even more of a reason to purchase TERROR's debut album, "Lowest of the Low", originally released on Bridge Nine Records. In addition to the original nine tracks, you get a cover of DAG NASTY's "Can I Say" and two tracks from the RINGWORM split ("Out of My Face" and "Nothing to Lose"). The disc is topped off with 10 scorching live songs from a performance in Tokyo (all nine tracks from the debut plus "Nothing to Lose" from the split).
The sound of the studio tracks is more rough-hewn than what's heard on "One with the Underdogs", perhaps performed with a greater sense of urgency and hunger. It's hardly a stretch to say that fans of "One with the Underdogs" will eat up this re-issue. A compact delivery, bone-dry guitar sound, hard-as-nails drumming, and Scott Vogel's harsh bark make the bash-and-groove of "What Have we Done" (that bass rumble and those gang shouts are monstrous) and the venomous hate of the title track delightfully vicious. The sound takes a dive on the band's cover of "Can I Say", a thinner mix and volume drop the culprits, though it's not much of a problem and the old school feel of the tune bleeds nostalgia. Both songs from the split release fare better in the sound department, "Out of My Face" marked by a fat riff and "Nothing to Lose" closing the studio portion in fist-fighting form.
As soon as Vogel screams "What the fuck's up Tokyo?! We're TERROR from Los Angeles, California! Thanks for havin' us! Set it off!" the tension and raw energy of the live set is palpable even before the first notes of "Better Off Without You" are played. The set itself is nothing short of blistering, the members clobbering the Japanese crowd over the head with a gigantic hardcore baseball bat! Quite a package, isn't it? Talk about bang for the buck.