The Phantom Tollbooth
Until the Day Breaks and the Shadows Flee Away
Artist: World Against World
Label: Bulletproof
Length: 10 tracks / 35:07
One of the most forgettable bands in recent years was the 80's hardcore/punk band Spudgun, who released an album a year or two ago of crashing noise and frustration with little talent and no ingenuity. Now they're back with a new name--World Against World--and, perhaps due to Chris Colbert's production hand, they've made something a bit more interesting.
Until the Day Breaks and the Shadows Flee Away fits right in with the sloppy, noisy tendencies Colbert has demonstrated in the past with Fluffy and Breakfast with Amy, but heads into more aggressive territory. World Against World hits like a grenade in a junkyard, sending out scraps of thrash, pieces of punk, fragments of hardcore, and slivers of other unidentifiable but painful materials. Somewhere in the explosion a voice hoarsely
yells dire warnings and directions for how to escape the blast. You can't really make
them out, but you think the length and detail of the messages are strange, as you feel chunks of metal bouncing off and biting into your skin and whizzing past your eyes and ears. There's nothing really heavy, just loud and noisy.

Spudgun was like a speaker blowing out, something that hurts the ears and needs to be replaced. World Against World is not so easily dismissed; there is a vague feeling of art in the noise-punk storm. The guys found some creativity along the way, and apparently the joys of typing as well, which resulted in song titles like "Our Nation of Thoughtlessness Celebrates Immorality While Seeking Independence from But Nevertheless Finding a Plague of Sorrow" or "We Dance with the Moment on the 2nd Story of Finality, Unaware of the Flames Slowly Spreading Up the Stairs." Sheesh. The lyrics follow suit in the traditional hardcore-style of blatant expression:  rantings and ravings about the sinfulness of man and a good deal of spittle-drenched, Christ-centered theology.
Helped by the thrash metal elements, these tunes all stand out from one another much more than most punk/hardcore, even though you're not sure what hit you the first couple of listens. There aren't many who will revel in an explosion of such muddy distortion, but those of you in need of a good shake-up or used to such noisy, chaotic quaking will dig this like you did 90 Lb. Wuss and Fluffy/Duraluxe before them. One thing's for sure--within the strict limitations of their chosen sound, World Against World stands above in creativity and zeal.
By Josh Spencer  (10/25/98)