When I first heard of Abandon, Justin told me there was a video of them covering Morning Again's "Stones". Obviously, I was extremely excited. I watched the video and was impressed. I later found out the band was relatively young (their ages) and that they could actually play their instruments. It was refreshing to hear a group of young people who fell in love with the 90s hardcore sound and were able to put a fresh take on it. I ordered the demo directly from the band which took some time to show but it was worth it.I messaged the band to tell them that I was into it and that I would do a review for it. Fast forward 7-8 months and I received an email from Francisco asking if I'd like to review the full length. Of course, I said yes.
The record opens with "Walls" which has some serious Unbroken worship (Life.Love.Regret era) with its chugging riffs as well as some Seven Generations influence. I like that bands draw influence from their contemporaries and 7 Gen had a big influence on the current scene. "To Defy" opens with a choral march. It sounds like something you would have heard during WWII...is it? Possibly but I dont have the liner notes. The chorus is swallowed up by a tribal beat and chugging riff followed by a slower, half time feel. When the band does play fast, Im glad the drummer knows how the play the fast beat correctly. To me, there is a right way and a wrong way and he pulls it off quite well.
2 of the songs are re-recorded from their demo and they greatly benefit from the top notch production. Everything is leveled perfectly and nothing seems to overpower. Being a guitar player, I have always noticed guitar tone (and the tone on this record is great) but the bass tone is what gets me. SO HEAVY. It reminds me a lot of how Buske's tone on the Santa Sangre record sounds. Lyrically, I was given a copy of the lyric sheet but to be honest, as Im getting older, Im finding it harder and harder to pick up the subtleties and hidden meanings in songs. The lyrics are well written and thought out though dealing with personal issues as well as straight edge and veganism.
Overall, Im extremely happy with the record. I preordered it through Catalyst Records and am anxiously awaiting it to come in the mail. Pick this and go see this band if they play near you. One to watch in 2010.