Jul 232020
 

American Arson offer up rock n roll hardcore on their album, “A Line In The Sand” released on Facedown Records. Their debut full album release on Facedown is a energetic blast that offers both melody and aggression with a solid rock n roll punch in the face.

Akin to a top fuel dragster staging you just know you in for one hell of a ride from the first track, and when the rubber gets grip the velocity is maintained at times sending ones brain ears in to adrenaline O.D. The music drives with simplicity yet when complexity is demanded Evan Baker and Jesse Gentry musical relationship does a fantastic job at it, digging into the catalogues of both new school and old school hardcore with star studded excellence.

One of my favourite tracks is “Drop Your Draggers”, which does just that mixing up some old school hardcore with new school elements and its driving momentum hits hard like Thor’s Hammer. Its hardcore punk edges I can identify with as a 80’s hardcore punk kid. It’s also quite poetic they used punk as the back bone for a political message. Well done.

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Deathbreaker – “Isolate”

 Posted by on June 30, 2020 at 00:09  No Responses »
Jun 302020
 

I like some good hardcore, get’s the blood flowing, and now being winter down in South Africa and lockdown because of covid 19 added to the mix, to have some energetic music to warm up ones blood is a welcomed retreat from it all. So when I hear the label Facedown mentioned, I sort of relate to it as Christian music’s fraternity of hardcore. So a good place for Deathbreaker to find themselves within.

The energy capsulated in ‘Isolate’ sharpens the edges of the bands hardcore roots driving a more assault driven harder approach than their ‘Disconnect’ release 3 years ago. Right from the start images of hardcore kids in the pit hardcore moshing hit my frontal lobe. Images of crowd chaos abound, guess I am going to have to move the furniture out the way to fully appreciate the aural aggression of Isolate.

As the listener you are brought to the attention of the raw characteristics of the songs, not a single song is marred by the production of the album. Like a good bottle of ketchup when poured, it has substance, and not at all a watered down interpretation of the band, the sound comes across rich and ‘live’ and rich in flavour. Those characteristics set it up nicely in the energy department.

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Reliance – “Running”

 Posted by on June 27, 2020 at 19:18  No Responses »
Jun 272020
 

Reliance make the most of their Thumper Punk Records debut, releasing a full length album filled with melodic punk anthems sure to get crowds moving and singing along.

Reliance from Prescott, Arizona looks to have fallen out of Sheep’s Gate Ministries and their skateshop started by Matthew Clark in 2000.  The band has released two albums, Crashing Down and Running following their signing to Thumper Punk Records.  Running was recorded and produced by Dave Klien at his studios in LA and mixed by the legendary Descendants drummer Bill Stevenson at the Blasting Room Co.

Honestly, the promo pictures are a great example of not judging a book by its cover as I was expecting something much closer to hardcore or metal versus the skate punk on this album.  In the big picture, I hear a lot of Pennywise, Bad Religion, and similar bands in the sound of Reliance and it’s very well done.  From a vocal perspective, Albert Padilla sounds a lot like Greg Graffin (Bad Religion) and Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) and musically the rest of the band fall right in line. 

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Breaking Benjamin – “Aurora”

 Posted by on June 19, 2020 at 23:41  No Responses »
Jun 192020
 

Breaking Benjamin is a American rock band founded by lead singer and guitarist Benjamin Burnley and drummer Jeremy Hummel back in 1999. Besides significant line up changes and the release of a compilation album amid the hiatus, Shallow Bay: The Best of Breaking Benjamin (2011), unauthorized by Burnley, brought about legal trouble within the band resulting in the dismissal of Fink and Klepask. Also in 2013 Szeliga announced his departure in citing creative differences. Amidst all of this Breaking Benjamin musical style and lyrical content have remained consistent throughout. Burnley serves as the primary composer and lead vocalist since the band’s inception. The band is known for its formulaic hard rock tendencies played off of angst-heavy lyrics, swelling choruses, and “crunching” guitars. Also in the United States, Breaking Benjamin have sold over 7 million albums  and have yielded three RIAA-certified platinum records, two gold records, and several certified singles, including two multi-platinum, two platinum, and five gold. The band has also produced one number one record on the Billboard 200. That is quite a repertoire to maintain especially in the modern day music environment.

The latest release on offer from Breaking Benjamin is the compilation album entitled, Aurora which was released on January 24, 2020, by Hollywood Records. It consists of a collection of semi-acoustic, and reimagined versions of previously released songs, plus one new song. The lead single “Far Away” features Scooter Ward from Cold, which was released December 6, 2019. The album also includes guest appearances from Lacey Sturm (formerly of Flyleaf), Michael Barnes of Red, Adam Gontier of Saint Asonia, and Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath.

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A Broken Line – “Rat Beach Live”

 Posted by on June 17, 2020 at 01:51  No Responses »
Jun 172020
 

Long Beach punk natives A Broken Line have released a live version of their sophomore album, Rat Beach, a collection of raw, infectious tracks that fit right in with what their predecessors were producing.

It’s not every day you get to review a studio and live version of the same album but here were are, thank you Covid-19 pandemic for making this possible.  The live version of Rat Beach was recorded at Di Piazza’s in Long Beach, California on January 3rd, 2020.  The album itself gets off to a bit of an odd start with the Intro being a bit of rap over a largely guitar jam reminding me oddly enough of Cypress Hill backed by Greg Ginn… As you may have guessed from the description so far, A Broken Line is not your typical straight ahead SoCal punk or hardcore band, as they bring elements in from ska and bit of a heavy garage/alternative sound as well.   Placebo opens up with a guitar riff that sounds much like one from Naked Raygun’s Jettison album and the song roars off from there at a frantic pace. From this driving opening track to the slower, heavier, almost like Sublime track “Garage Door” to the feedback-drenched and bass-highlighting “Ticking Away” with its drum/atmospheric interlude to even more feedback and driving rhythms in “Disconnect” to the Five Iron Frenzy like parts in “Pier”, the first five tracks cover a lot of ground and consistently present a loud, brash punk rock attitude.

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