American Straightedge Hardcore from SoCal. If you understand any of that you know what to expect from the newest band signed to On the Attack Records (Thumper Punk Records hardcore imprint). As they’ve done with other signings recently, the new band has a demo or ep available for free on Bandcamp. If straightedge hardcore is of any interest at all, how can you not check it out?
Musically, this is brawny, fast, in-your –face, aggressive hardcore. No clean singing, but shouted vocals over heavy guitars with fast riffs and drums keeping the pace. In “Forever”, the drums hit some amazing speeds during the verse sections but then slow for some of the more pummeling sections of the song. Songs are short and to the point with a liberal use of feedback that adds to the menacing tone characteristic of the genre.
“Existence” is arguably my favorite song on the demo as it shows some variety with faster melodic sections to slower, breakdown-like sections. One of the influences, at least for singer Levi Lehman, has been the band Sleeping Giant and “Warfare” features some vocals from Tommy Green (Sleeping Giant), delivered in his characteristic style but the song carries on the rest of the time more in line with the rest of the album than with a Sleeping Giant song. Vocals throughout, while typically shouted as expected, are a bit different in tone that expected and remind me a bit of those from the NYHC band Leeway, which is certainly not a bad thing.
Judgement X Day is working on a full length and with this demo they’ve set a fairly high bar for expectations. With a relative lack of old-school hardcore these days, it’s always good to find a hardcore band worth checking out.
Written by John Jackson
1. Break Free
4. Warfare (ft. Tommy Green of Sleeping Giant)
Levi “Godfather” Lehman-Vocals
Record Label: On The Attack Records (Thumper Punk Records), June 2014
Video for ‘Existence’