It’s refreshingly satisfying to discover a band who are both fueled by the times that made them and impassioned by a love of and skill for creating music that actually gets to you. Begining with the hardcore, punk rock energy of Rustbelt, the topics are not sugared over, nor are they made excruciating obvious as is sometimes the case. There’s an infectious sense of melody to the opening track that comes soaked in a certain Bad Religion vibe, or bands for a similar time at least. Dead By Dawn takes the heaviness a little further, holding back on the melody focusing on the passion and point of the song. A similar thing can be said Unity. The further into this album you fall, the harder it hits you.
The way in which the band fuse melody and this perhaps more anthemic or riotous chanting draws further comparisons with the sound of bands who are all too far behind us now. Modern music doesn’t tend to include this sort of expression anymore, and it’s baffling – the quality here is superb, the songwriting is passionate and meaningful, the creativity is wild and free yet forever professional and considerate of things like structure and substance. Petty Schemes offers a superb touch of what is all too often thought of as pirate-rock or knees-up folk-rock, the energy is superb, and the potential and desire for a live show is inescapable. The fading away hook that emerges with this track is insanely addictive.
Corporate Pariah showcases a minor breakdown in instrumentation, laying the leading vocal bare, highlighting that passion, that feeling, that poetry, that realness. There’s a folk-rock, slightly acoustic or organic feel to the sound on occasion. The band are impressive in so many ways, and whether it’s presented by means of the heaviness or something a little lighter, the concept at the heart of the music is always always its driving force. Through Lockwood, I Can’t Breathe, and Everything Must Go, there are riffs that indie bands would kill for, there’s a heaviness that can never be faked, and there’s intent that exposes some of life’s most commonly avoided truths.
Ad Nauseum offers the instrumentation of a well-crafted rock song, taking its time to approach lyricism, creating a soundscape for its audience. Then you get the briefly attention grabbing bass riff that opens up Eviction Notice, followed rightfully so by an intense and angry piece of music and writing. Alcorn Queen adds a touch of darkness and metal to the mix with a chaotic and haunting guitar riff and another thick and thoughtful bass-line. This song has an immensely strong hook section that screams out for audience participation.
The project is topped of quite beautifully with the acoustic and blissfully melodic tones of Are We Even Human Anymore. The band prove themselves to be creatives, musicians, first and foremost – talented and passionate about songwriting and music. The weight of their sound for the most part is a refreshing reminder of what music used to be whenever times were hard or when we really needed art or something alternative to help us understand how we felt about things. This final song reminds us that music is music, that it all starts somewhere; usually with a voice and a guitar. The realness is impossible to fake, and the more you listen to this album in its entirety, the more familiar and reliable the band become. This is a total pleasure to discover.