Gritty hardcore record featuring members of Earth Crisis, Fallout Boy, Cursed and more. Usually when I see “featuring members of…” on a record you automatically know you’re getting something that is secondary to the product that those members or ex-members come/came from. For the most part these types of albums are an “in the moment” thing that don’t really hold much replay value and are largely forgettable.
I can tell you right off the bat this is no Ragmen-type side project. Featuring Scott Crouse of Earth Crisis (Ian Edwards is also listed as playing bass on the album) and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy. I can tell you right now this sounds like neither of those bands which is kind of refreshing if you wanted to hear them do something different. Make no mistake about it, this is a hardcore record, not some Swedish influenced metalcore or whatever blending usually happens on anything connected to the scene in the past 20 years.
Stylistically the record sounds very raw embracing hardcore’s punk roots. The production is raw, giving it a live feel, but not too raw where it sounds like a 1996 demo tape. Sound wise, it’s more comparative of newer gritty hardcore bands like Old Wounds and Code Orange, and older Converge. Songs are short, simple and to the point with the longest song clocking in at a whopping 3:03 to close out the album. There are a few moments where it starts to kind of get melodic but the moments pass quickly in songs considering most songs are under 2 minutes. What’s cool is the songs don’t overstay their welcome and after the album’s done you’re left wanting more. The way the album plays when you listen to it long form, it kind of feels like you’re at a show, with the only thing missing are in show banter like “Last chance to dance” or “we have merch in the back” or “stick around so and so is up next.”
Bottom Line: This is a good hardcore record and it’s great to hear Andy and Scott collaborate outside of those few fill tours Andy did with Earth Crisis. Hopefully this album will have some staying power and not end up like other forgettable Earth Crisis side projects. Hopefully we’ll get more out of this.
Notable Tracks: Scourge of Empire, Death Dealer, All or Nothing