I went in on a friendly mail I got last week to review this release on SHIELD RECORDINGS. I immediately concurred with doing this because the first impression was right. And I had lots of fun making it while learning about hardcore. So this is a synergistic way of working and therefore I will also publish it on my blog!
This band from Utrecht in the Netherlands, started out in 2006 with a serious reason to play hardcore: to resist to the weight of the world and fight back. As the cover suggests you better push the giant rock on the mountain or you get crushed by it – this is their ethic. They manage to do this by a strong unity feel amongst the band members, sticking together and playing hardcore music.
They have transparently written lyrics with no bullshit or abundant imagery. Just plain feelings, morals and thoughts. You can see these kids being raised on the likes of modern hardcore but with a strong respect and knowledge of classic eighties bands. This respectful attitude also reflects in the integer place they take in the modern hardcore landscape.
They see themselves being influenced by MINOR THREAT, PAINT IT BLACK, PANIC and CEREMONY. I hear that too. Although the sound is pretty far from classic Minor Threat, they do have the attitude and mindset of the band in a more abstract approach. So not in terms of concrete SxE but in terms of integrity, sincerity and questioning. Back in the beginning of the eighties MT questioned and criticized punk. In the light of a more individualistic society, nowadays bands question and criticize themselves. This inner-orientated reflection is typical of modern hardcore. I mean the ethics have been transformed / modernized but have the same basic starting point, namely questioning or thinking and being out of step with the world. Seeking refuge in the underground hardcore / punk scene or making one.
Musically it is the cold, clean and ominous Ceremony hardcore (especially in the first songs). But they fittingly sew in Paint It Black and Panic melody. Which sound weird in words but works well in their sound. I’d add this formula to one of the band’s merits. And I would definitely add TRASH TALK to their similar also. Because of the hardworking ethic and bleak, misanthropic view. They play modern Hardcore, with the old school ethics. And that’s what I like a lot about this growing band.
Maybe it’s useful to add a word of criticism. When I first heard their sound, I immediately thought of other bands. So they do not have a trademark sound our aren’t pioneering a certain innovative genre. But this is probably too much asked of these youngsters. What I feel is that their attitude is correct; keep it sincere, work hard and love what you do. I’d also rather see a band evolving from a mediocre but very good position, than declining from an amazing start later on in their career. Just gain a little more confidence and self-esteem. You don’t have to force success or appreciation off the world.