Having successfully secured the Cro-Mags name after a year-long court battle with former members John Joseph and Mackie Jayson, frontman and general hardcore legend Harley Flanagan follows up last year’s From the Grave and Don’t Give In EP’s (Victory Records) with In the Beginning (Mission Two Entertainment/Arising Empire), the first full-length release from the celebrated New York act in twenty long years. Continue reading
The demise of angry yet thoughtful hardcore types Ruiner back in 2010 was mourned hard by those who preferred a little more variety with their tough-guy rage workouts, but ultimately their passing wasn’t noticed by the masses. However several members of the band in question have decided to re-group and have another go in the form of Holy Tongues, playing a style of music with one foot in the hardcore camp but seemingly eager to leave old habits behind.
Weak People (Melotov Records) is the debut effort by Dustin Thornton, Stephen Smeal and Joey Edwards; all previous members of the aforementioned Ruiner. Clocking in at thirty-four minutes, the album is a short yet interesting exploration of the uncertain ground where melodic hardcore meets noise rock; imagine Unsane playing around with a few old Poison the Well B-sides and you have an idea of the sounds captured on Weak People. The rhythm section is particularly impressive with the twanging bass guitar and playful drums establishing a solid background while the guitars lay down just as many squalling noise and melodic lines as they do anything approaching the thicker riffs one might expect from this sub-genre.
Tracks such as ‘Filters’ build nicely along a hefty bassline with the guitars brooding in a confident manner while ‘92’ kicks out the jams in fine punkish style. Elsewhere, the melodic introspection of ‘Bright Light’ proves to be an engaging listen with the soul-searching lyrics painting a bittersweet picture of the life of a young band-member.
For all the thoughtfulness however, there is no real energy or passion evident on Weak People with the band clearly still finding their feet. However, given time, there is potential for something special to emerge.