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90's Hardcore Punk and more

Kickback cornered

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Kickback cornered album cover

Cornered is the first full-length of the French band Kickback. Kickback is a Parisian band. This album was released in 1995. Before this they had released a few demos and a 7 inch. This article isn’t focusing too much on the biographical facts about the band. It’s an approach to the mindset of the lyric writer. Through step by step lyrical analysis.

Musically this band stands out as well. Useless to try define it in words. But what’s can be said is that vocalist had a label called Hardway Records. A label that mainly focused on the heavier and later New York Hardcore genre. So this might hint that they were influenced by this style of Hardcore as well. Cant’ be denied if you listen to their delivery. Although Kickback deserves a better description as they add more metal to their sound. And they have a natural and talented way of writing more aggressive music.

“Resurrect” is the opening song. It starts with a pattern of thought that is likely familiar to every person who reflects about things and life.

I look inside for something I can’t find
Some answers over and over again

Stephen Bessac

The urge to comprehend why someone else acts like they do. The answers can only partly explain reality and aren’t too closing or satisfying. The nature of humans that seems to be everchanging. Other lines in these lyrics suggest that these thoughts were provoked by false nature or lies of another. And that only afterwards their whole truth was seen. The disappointment that the real truth behind a person wasn’t immediately seen. And that the past will be the past.

“Count Me Out” is a description of feelings felt and thoughts when it’s realized that someone turns out not to be what was expected. The decision to walk another path, as consequence. And the intention to not follow others blindly any more.

I’ve turned my back
on the lies of my youth
I’ve had enough
I couldn’t go on like that
Alone again
I thought you were my friend
I found a way to ascend
And left it all behind

Stephen Bessac

“Struggling” is about negative feelings and thoughts and the way that’s reacted upon those negative feelings and thoughts. And the realisation that others can cause negative feelings inside as well. A recurring inner pain is felt. Somehow the struggle of life and the will to survive is consciously present in daily life of the lyrics writer. Some kind of social survival and inner struggle to keep believing in yourself and life in general, despite all lies, disappointments and setbacks.

I’ll never surrender. I will fight back.
Seeking the truth till the end.

Stephen Bessac

“Start Of The End” is a misanthropic and apocalyptic reflection about humanity. The darker side of mankind’s nature is described. Darker tendencies within society as well.

Are we gonna be the witness of our own destruction?
Persistence of hatred
The fall of civilization
Morals are gone and greed rules our lives.

Don’t we see what’s going on?
Innocent die, survival is at stake
We decide our own fate with no regards for anyone else as we are killing our world

Stephen Bessac

Those darker sides of humanity and dark tendencies within society are seen as the start of the end.

“Bumrush” is about the consequences of decisions made. Not going deeply into facts, but in general sense. Somehow the anger in this song is present. But also compassion and the will to make a warning. It’s not clear whether this is an introspective song, dealing with inner doubt. Or if the words of the song are pointed at another person.

“Pull Your Card” This song has got two sides to it. Firstly it expresses the will for independency of others. The will to stay out of the influence of another. Personal freedom of thought and decisions is the goal. On the other side there’s anger towards the ones that try to interfere with this personal freedom.

You think you know me.
But you don’t know shit.
Just stay away from me.
You are the one I fuckin hate.

Stephen Bessac

“Against The World” or alone against the rest will become a returning mindset for the lyric writer. “Seul contre tous” will even become a print on some of their later merchandise.

Endless pain I won’t live a life of shame
I resist – break the chains
As I stand against this world

Stephen Bessac

“Down” is a key song that summarizes all thoughts and feelings described earlier.

It gets so hard to contain
All the anger I’ve kept inside
Cos’ now I know It’s too late
For me to comprehend and to forgive.

Stephen Bessac

“Cornered” speaks for itself. Confrontations that cause fight or flight emotions. Awareness of the wrong paths that a person mike take.

If only I could break through this wall
This wall that surrounds me
I know I will be free
All alone in my hell… Where are you?
Try to tempt me
I think I am going insane
So many fuckin paths
Lead to hell

If I led down my guard
Who will save myself, I’m asking?
Who will save me

Torn again
Between the wrong and the right
This never ending fight
That drives my life.

To feel again
when you will is broken
I must escape
Let me go

temperatures is rising
demon awaking
No one is spared…

Stephen Bessac

We can conclude the following:
The entire album has an aggressive nature. Inside struggles are described. Anger and distrust towards other people is a topic of thought and reflection. The darker side a mankind is food for thought. Trapped between the good and the bad, this is an ethically challenging piece of Hardcore Punk. They way the lyrics writer describes his inner self, shows the way he deeply reflected about it.

Kickback cornered from the cornered full length on Hostile

Later in 1997 the band will be release Forever War. Musically Forever War is their magnum opus. An article will follow in the future.

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