3.23.2016

REVIEW: BONEHEAD - LOVE IS PAIN

REVIEW: BONEHEAD - LOVE IS PAIN

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio is Bonehead.
The four piece released Love Is Pain in February of this year and it's definitely going to end up on my end of year AOTY list.

At first listen this is already standing out to me as a great crossover album.
So far in 2016 this is one of the coolest albums I've heard both lyrically and instrumentally. 

It opens up with "Bonehead", which is two and half minutes of great riffs, stompy drum parts, and fat bass lines. 
The first 43 seconds of this song alone features some of the more unique guitar work I've heard in months.
The tone of their singer's voice and his singing style reminds me a lot of Walter Delgado from Rotting Out. 
This track ends with a really cool breakdown into a fun two step. 
Lyrically, "Bonehead" is the band's way of letting their listeners dip their toes into the water.
The songs that follow gradually increase in both passion and sensitivity of subject matter.
You can tell a lot of thought went into this release. 

Next we have "Sunrise", a heartbreak anthem catered just for our specific generation.
The climate of love right now is very inhospitable and the lyrics reflect the feelings it generates trying to be a lover in these times.
"Love is obsolete
Love leaves you incomplete
Love is pain"
 It's rare for me to even entertain heartbreak hardcore songs but this one is written from a very refreshing perspective and the song itself just sounds so badass I couldn't help but listen to this a few times during my initial play through. 

After that "Xanax" barrels through to get us out of our feelings.
This song is about someone who's using substances to self medicate and won't take the advice of those who love them.
As someone who has been in this situation multiple times I think may be my favorite track on this release.
Unlike most "addict" songs, this one doesn't condemn the person to fucking trial by fire.
This song is also packed full of cool ass riffs so I'm fan for multiple reasons.

The release closes with "Fear" and "Serpent", or what you will soon know as "the hardest five minutes of my life."
Bonehead's overall sound is stompy, metalcore-influenced hardcore and while the previous songs have been great too, they execute their style perfectly on these last two tracks. 
Everything comes together perfectly to give this record a banger of an ending.

I give this release three dice out of three. 

You can listen to Bonehead's Love Is Pain on Bandcamp.

REVIEW: MALICIOUS WOUNDING - 1323

REVIEW: MALICIOUS WOUNDING - 1323

Malicious Wounding is from Atlanta, Georgia.
Unlike their scene mates Criminal Instinct and Foundation, Malicious Wounding has a more classic sound.
It's easily recognizable, straight ahead hardcore.
They released 1323 in November of 2015.

Upfront this album is strong instrumentally.
The bass lines written throughout this album are great, you guys know I'm a stickler for bands with good bass.
The guitars are definitely influenced in some aspects by 90s metalcore.
The drums are written as a compliment to all of these aspects and it works out well.

Now, the vocals.
You would think that with such instruments their singer's voice would be just as strong or unique.
Unfortunately that left a little to be desired in the aspect of passion, his style is pretty monotone but it's also SO MONOTONE that I'm into it.
He's essentially speaking matter-of-factually over beatdown instrumentals and I'm liking that juxtaposition.

The first track, "1323", is short and sweet. It sets the stage for the entire release.
Lyrically, it's your typical "fuck you" opener, right to the point about what happens to people who can't stop talking shit.
A statement entrance, something any new band should have on a first release.

"1323" slides headfirst into "Heartbreaker" whose subject matter should be obvious.
While I'm not a fan of hardcore songs about how your ex hurt you, I think this one is very well executed both sonically and lyrically so anyone who does need to relate to that will be able to find it here.

"On Top" follows "Heartbreaker" and it's about people who live on a high horse.
I love the point of view they use for all their songs but this one especially.
Also they use my favorite phrase "get the fuck off the block" as a lyric.

If I could be anyone, I definitely wouldn't want to be whoever "Weak Minded" is about.
"Who was there when you needed help
What did you do when you had no one else
You forgot what true friends really are
You only need us when your backs against the wall"
Talk about a call out, a whole song about being a fake and a coward.
This track is my favorite on this release simply because the singer finally puts some passion behind his voice. He clearly has extreme emotional ties to the subject matter in this song and it comes across well.

To end this EP is "What's It Worth", which is hands down the strongest track on the entire EP.

All in all, if you're in the mood for a classic hardcore album then 1323 is what you should seek out.

I give this two dice out of three.

Listen to 1323 on Bandcamp. 

3.16.2016

REVIEW: LOW ROLL - SELF TITLED EP

REVIEW: LOW ROLL - SELF TITLED EP

Low Roll is a hardcore band hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina.
As I stated in my post about Queensway, beatdown is coming back in a big way in 2016 and thank fucking God because I am honestly tired of that beat ass shtick called metalcore.
Low Roll released their self titled EP on March 11th and it's definitely a sign of the times.

It's a five track EP so you have no excuse about its length for not listening to it at least once.
The whole release clocks in at just under thirteen minutes.

The EP opens with "Roll The Dice" which is what being held at gun point sounds like. 
The first lyrics you hear after the crushing intro are "Bet everything I've got 'cause I've got nothing to lose, you wouldn't last a day if you were walking in my shoes."
 Opening with themes of gambling and hopelessness, this release is already winning my heart.

As "Snake Eyes" opens you hear the voice of Robert DeNiro as Al Capone giving one of the infamous quotes from The Untouchables just before the instruments come in crushingly. 
Low Roll is a straight edge band and this is one of the two obviously "straight edge" tracks on the EP and like all the best straight edge bands before them, it's got the "not like you" mentality all over it. 
The breakdown at 2:15 on this track is enough to make me check into rehab.

"Double or Nothing" (notice a theme here?) follows "Snake Eyes" as the second straight edge banger on this release.
Low Roll did something I haven't heard in a minute from a new band and they threw gang vocals on this track and I love them for that. 
I'm a meathead so using elements of older beatdown bands like that gets me all tingly inside. 
This is followed shortly after by an absolutely insane drum part that I'm sure will drive kids to strangle each other at their shows.

"Risk" is the second to last track on the EP and like the songs before it, it does not disappoint in any department.
Lyrically I'd have to say this is the black sheep of the release. 
As the title would imply, this song is about taking risks. 
Whether that risk be with your emotions or money, it's kind of hard to tell because these boys clearly love gambling and hate liars. 
A sentiment I can respect and stand behind. 

Finally, to close the EP there's "Outsider," which is hands down the strongest song on the album both lyrically and instrumentally. 
I've talked before about how people who have no frame of reference for how hardcore works come in and start talking about shit they have no idea about and this song sums up my feelings about them nicely. 
The style their singer uses for this song is audibly more aggressive than the rest and I love that you can tell he means 100% of what he's saying here. 
That coupled with the sheer intensity of the guitars and drums on this track make it the perfect way to end this EP. 

Low Roll knew that if they released some weak tracks they would eventually fade into the sand of the scene but thankfully they came correct. 

I give this record three dice out of three. 

You can listen to this EP on Bandcamp and keep up with Low Roll on Twitter.