Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Posted by XhcnoirX | File under : , , ,
'Three Steps Back', which was released just last month on Dead City Records is Killing Time's first record since 1996's 'The Method' album, and only the 3rd full-length since their debut-album 'Brightside' was released in 1989. To me, 'Brightside' is one of the best NYHC albums of the late '80s, and singer Anthony Comunale has one of the best throats in NYHC history. However, the records they did since (2 EP's and the aforementioned 'The Method') have been received with mixed reviews. Either you loved em or hated em. I really dig the 'Happy Hour' MCD but wasn't into the other EP, 'Unavoidable' and especially not 'The Method'. They lacked power and direction and overall just didn't do it for me. I also saw Killing Time a few years ago with the singer of Uppercut doing vocals for em, and they seemed uninspired and going thru the motions. So when Chip asked me review their latest record I wasn't sure what to expect.

Right from the start the band makes it pretty clear that Killing Time isn't the straight up NYHC band anymore that they once were. Continuing with the sound of their records since 'Brightside', they have incorporated various musical elements into their sound, from punkrock and street punk and even some metal, making the overall sound a bit more melodic, and at times less heavy and hard. Mind you tho, this does not mean that they abandoned their NYHC roots, far from it. They've expanded on it and in a far more successful way than they tried on 'The Method.' The first 2 tracks on this record, 'Flight Plan' and 'Spaceheater' make it very clear that Killing Time still has what it takes. Great tracks that leave no doubt that Killing Time is back with renewed energy and eagerness, and that they know how to mix styles and influences in a seamless way. When the 3rd track, '24', starts and Anthony is adding melody to his voice, without losing his power, it is pretty clear this is a great album. And it continues from there. Most of the tracks have a melodic hardcore punk sound to them, but somehow it works really well on this album. For the NYHC lover in me, they kept the most NYHC-sounding tracks to end the album. The heaviest and most NYHC-sounding tracks are closing tracks 'Crouch' (with the chorus that holds the album's title) and 'AKB', both really awesome tracks that totally bring 'Brightside' to mind. And yes, they are my favorite tracks of this album, however, apart from 'Mingus', 'Rope A Dope' and 'Lookout' which are enjoyable but don't do a whole lot for me, this is quality stuff. 9 out of 12 songs is a pretty good score.

So all in all, this is a great record. Killing Time sounds totally revitalized and Anthony Communale's voice is still as powerful and distinct as ever. If you want your fix of hardcore/punk, this is a good choice. The record is available on CD and LP from Dead City Records.