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Today is the Day never had an easy time of it. Formed in Nashville and currently based in Maine, the innovative noise metal act made records and played shows as guaranteed to offend and alienate as attract and inspire. No Good to Anyone, bandleader Steve Austin’s eleventh (or twelfth depending on how you count) LP under the TITD moniker, doesn’t make anything easy for anyone venturing into its realm. Inspired by a debilitating battle with Lyme disease and the death of Austin’s beloved dog, the record oozes anguish, but it’s also an album suffused with hope. Equally laden with darkly melodic riffs, lurching rhythmic thrusts, screeching noise and enough experiential negativity to give a therapist nightmares, songs like “Attacked By An Angel,” “Burn in Hell” and the title track paint a portrait of an individual roaming the blackest of their creator’s back pages. Even when the going gets pretty – as in the lovely “Callie” – the aura of melancholy is nearly unbearable. But there’s a purpose to Austin’s self-indulgence – this isn’t a chronicle of deterioration, but of construction. The man has been through the ringer, and learned that love – for family, for the universe, most of all for himself – really does conquer all, finding his strength to fight back through “Mercy” and “Rockets and Dreams.” It’s a rough ride, but one that has peaks as well as valleys. No Good to Anyone is one of the band’s most uncompromising LPs, both aesthetically and emotionally – the record soaks itself in suffering, but, thankfully, amazingly, doesn’t surrender to it.
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