Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Album Reviews

I've been a bit behind on some album reviews lately, but here's a nice chunk of what has come our way in recent times.

Natural Order - s/t (Purgatory Records)
Unfortunately, this Natural Order 7" came to me cracked in half in the mail, so I've still only heard the two songs on Sound Cloud, but I love what I've been able to hear.  This has a heavy vibe reminiscent of late 90s bands like Turmoil, Bloodlet and Damnation AD.  There's a discordant and noisy aspect that adds to the dark feel provided by the lyrics.  If you're into heavy, mid-paced hardcore, definitely check out Natural Order.



 No Turning Back - No Regrets (Fastbreak Records)
It's crazy that No Turning Back have been around since 1997, and I've heard their name tossed around plenty of times over the years, but for some reason, I've never actually heard them until now.  I can see why these guys have existed for so long in Europe, though.  They carry a nice mix of fast beats and groove oriented riffs that remind me of bands like Terror and Madball.  No Regrets features 11 new tracks, but the US version of the CD contains two bonus tracks that were originally released as a split 7" with SFAR in 2009.  Given that this was my first time hearing No Turning Back, I don't have any old releases to compare this with, but I'm sure I will be seeking some out here soon.


The Weight We Carry - Downcast (Full Circle Attack)
From the first minute that I put this 7" on my turntable, it had upstate New York written all over it.  Heavy and angry are a perfect description, but doesn't quite do it justice.  Although the music carries some huge breakdowns and double kick action, the lyrics also convey a working class sentiment that isn't often seen in heavier hardcore bands, which is a nice change of pace from the standard fare.  It's pretty amazing that they were able to squeeze six songs onto this 7", because they don't feel like they scream by in a short burst.  Overall, this is a pretty impressive 7" for a newer band and label, so I'm anticipating much more from both in the future.


Triggerman - Learning To Lie (1124 Records)
It can always be difficult to review records by bands that have reunited nearly 20 years after they called it quits, especially if you actually enjoyed their output the first time around.  A fear sets in that you might hate the new effort, and that could potentially even ruin your outlook on old material.  Thankfully, that didn't happen at all with the recent Triggerman LP - Learning To Lie.
The songs featured on this LP were actually written in the early 90s before the band broke up, and I think that these songs benefit from the improved recording technology of today.  A lot of older melodic hardcore records are very hit and miss for me due to poor recording quality, or perhaps just studio engineers that didn't know how to handle it properly.  All instruments cut through nicely on this recording, and play well with Joe Nelson's clean vocals.  More than anything, I would say that Triggerman carry a strong Dag Nasty vibe on Learning To Lie.  There's a lot of melody throughout the songs, but they don't detract from the punk nature of the songs themselves.  The fourteen tracks have a nice flow, but I would say stand out tracks are the title track and "This Town".  If melodic, early 90s hardcore is your thing, I'm sure this will fit very nicely into your collection.


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