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Music / Botch

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Botch, a band from Tacoma, Washington, were pioneers of the genres of metalcore and mathcore, and are considered co-Trope Makers/Trope Codifiers for both. They released two albums, a number of EPs and splits, a live album, and a collection of odds and ends.

Core discography

  • The Unifying Themes of Sex, Death and Religion (anthology, 1997)
  • American Nervoso (full-length, 1998)
  • We Are the Romans (full-length, 1999)
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  • Unifying Themes Redux (expanded release of the above anthology, 2002)
  • An Anthology of Dead Ends (EP, 2002)
  • 061502 (live album, 2006, recorded June 15, 2002)


  • Brian Cook - bass
  • Dave Knudson - guitar
  • Tim Latona - drums
  • Dave Verellen - vocals

This band provides examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist: The sample at the start of the WFMU version of "Third Part in a Tragedy" is of Ben Kingsley as Gandhi indicating that he refuses to use violence, but also refuses to obey the British government, even at the cost of imprisonment, torture, or death: "Then they will have my dead body - but not my obedience."
  • Album Intro Track: "Spaim" on An Anthology of Dead Ends, which lasts for a mere fourteen seconds.
  • Album Title Drop: For We Are the Romans in "Man the Ramparts".
  • Cover Version / Rock Me, Amadeus!: They covered Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", The B-52s' "Rock Lobster", and Black Sabbath's "The Wizard". The former two of these are on Unifying Themes Redux, but the latter will probably be more difficult to find, as it was only available on a vinyl split with Cave In (who for their part covered Sabbath's "N.I.B.").
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  • Cultural Cringe: The title of We Are the Romans refers to the band's belief that America is the new Roman Empire and is headed the same way.
  • Epic Rocking: "Man the Ramparts" is the most notable example at almost ten minutes in length (it has a minute of silence at the end that pushes the running time up to 10:55). They have other examples as well. The hidden track on Unifying Themes Redux runs 20:42, but it's comprised of several songs stuck together.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: 061502 is a live album titled after the date on which it was recorded (June 15, 2002, the band's final show).
  • Hidden Track: We Are the Romans has an unlisted remix of "Thank God for Worker Bees" (from American Nervoso). Unifying Themes Redux also has an unlisted hidden track that consists of several separate songs; according to Discogs, it's a live set performed for the radio station WFMU.note 
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  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every song on An Anthology of Dead Ends is titled after a country, but with the n's in the country name changed to m's (i.e. "Vietmam", "Afghamistam", "Micaragua"). One of the songs on Unifying Themes Redux ("Sudam") also follows this pattern; apparently it's an outtake from the same sessions.
  • Instrumentals: "Sudam", amongst others.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: Most notably, "Man the Ramparts", which lasts for nearly ten minutes and contains a grand total of sixteen words, repeated several times.
  • Live Album: 061502, a recording of their final show on June 15, 2002.
  • Long Title: Around half of their songs. We Are the Romans in particular has a ton of them. The anthology The Unifying Themes of Sex, Death and Religion also qualifies, though it was changed to Unifying Themes Redux when it was re-released with additional bonus content.
  • Loudness War: While not the worst cases ever, their albums are pretty squished.
  • Metal Scream: Their primary vocal style.
  • One Dave Limit: As seen above, averted.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Frequenting Mass Transit" (from a split with Murder City Devils) got corrupted into "Frequency Ass Bandit" on We Are the Romans.
  • Sampling: They sometimes use quotes from films or television shows to open songs, especially live.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Most of their vocals, as mentioned above, are metal screams, but occasionally they use Spoken Word in Music or clean singing. The most notable example is the faux-Gregorian chant near the end of "Man the Ramparts", which has the band performing a choral arrangement of some of the lyrics (mainly the album title, repeated several times over). When performed live, this was moved to the beginning of the song (presumably because, due to the large number of overdubs it required, it wouldn't have been possible to recreate live, and it would've been difficult to transition to a tape of the chant section in the midst of the song).
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Afghamistam" and "Swimming the Channel vs. Driving the Chunnel".
  • Trope Maker/Trope Codifier: For mathcore and metalcore alongside Converge and a handful of others.
  • Uncommon Time: They are known as mathcore for a reason. A few examples: The beginning of "To Our Friends in the Great White North" alternates between 4/4 and 5/8 time, the opening of "Contraction" is in 5/4, "Frequenting Mass Transit" has a riff in 7/4, and "Sudam" is... complicated. There are undoubtedly a lot more, though.