In their latest album, R.A.I.D bring old-school hardcore from Hyderabad, India in a collection of pounding tracks that aim for the sounds found in the clubs in places like New York and Boston.
Admit it, when you read old-school hardcore, you had images of New York and bands like Madball, Sick of It All and the like and you weren’t thinking of Hyderabad, India. Well, R.A.I.D is here to change that and as Rolling Stone India put it, they are “Hyderabad’s sole hardcore frontrunners”. For this follow up to The Strong Survive (2018), the band chose material focused on finding and using one’s inherent strength, inspired by the Biblical character Samson.
Clocking in under 20 minutes for seven songs, the album certainly fits the typical mold for an old-school hardcore effort, no wasted time. A short drum roll and “Unbreakable” is off to the races with a galloping riff that slows for the verse sections where Ruben Isaac barks out the words. The first song does set the tone for the whole album and there are a couple of sound issues and/or choices that I’m not a big fan of that I feel hurt the overall impact of the songs. First is that Isaac’s vocals sound as if they had some type of effect added on to them and in my purist logic, that just doesn’t fit for a whole album. One or two songs, maybe but all the vocals are this way and it just doesn’t work for me. Second is that while the guitars and overall sound is heavy, it lacks that crunch/bite that this style of metallic hardcore really needs. The songs are similar to Hatebreed, Madball, and Leeway but the music seems smoothed out a bit too much. Performances are strong, I just feel the production takes something away from the potential power in the tracks. I would love to hear a good live version as that would probably fix it for me.
While “Seven” slows things a bit “Outrage” brings back some galloping riffs for the verse sections but throws in some near breakdown sections that I’m not a big fan of as again, the power in the music isn’t there in the recording, which is too bad as the faster, thrashier parts really work in the song. “Blind” brings back the jackhammer riffs with Isaac’s vocals shouted over the top and while just over 2 minutes long the song does convey a lot of heaviness. The jackhammer riffs continue in “Blind” but the pace is accelerated quite a bit and parts of the song gallop along a quite a clip as the vocals almost seem to struggle to keep up. “Steadfast” continues in a similar vein and at this point the songs do seem to blend together a bit. ”Imperium” starts out with a fast drum line and doesn’t look back for most of the track, making it my favorite track on the album. One of the nice touches in the song is the breakdown where Bobbin Jaydev on drums gets to add in some nice fills. Despite, my nitpicking criticisms, R.A.I.D. shows a lot of promise in this effort as they present NYHC through an Indian lens.
Written by John Jackson
Rueban Issac: Vocals
Abishek Allapanda: Guitars
Sam Jaba: Bass
Bobbin Jaydev: Drums
Release Date: June 28th. 2019
Record Label: Rottweiler Records
Lyric video for “Outrage’
Lyric video for ‘Unbreakable’