Cable - Variable Speed Drive (CD) Cover Art

Cable - Variable Speed Drive (CD)

  • $6.66

Origin: USA
Released: 2008
Catalog number: TL32-2
Includes 3 bonus tracks.

So this is where it all began, the start of Cable’s legacy - and no, that’s not too strong a word. Originally released in 1996, Variable Speed Drive remains as uncompromisingly ugly now as it did 13 years ago. In fact, given how the band’s progressed over time, I’d say it’s gotten even uglier. Variable Speed Drive is an open wound, festering and raw. People expecting the southern-tinged sludge of Skyhorse Jams and Never Trust a Gemini will have a hard time finding something to latch onto here; it’s uncompromisingly abrasive to its core. And yet it’s not a simplistic wail of rage. You’d be hard pressed to find moments when the band toes a conventional line, even when it seems like Larsen and Co are doing nothing more than offering up a litany of angular riffs to go along with his hoarse shouting.

One listen is all it takes to discover how far ahead of their time these guys were in the arena of gritty noisecore. Variable Speed Drive is packed with jarringly discordant guitar lines, piercing screams, and off-kilter rhythms, all pulled together with subtle touches of melody buried in the band's musical catharsis. This record is by no means a well-oiled machine; it rumbles forward on a foundation of pure passion and anger, something that feels missing amongst so many current records hiding behind expensive equipment and slick production jobs. Cable's mid to late 90s songwriting style was far from a calculated approach, instead serving as a channel for emotional release. In other words, Variable Speed Drive is dripping in authenticity. It wasn't heavy, noisy, and pissed off because it needed to fit into a genre. It was all of those things out of pure sincerity.