INCH SCRAPER: HARDCORE 7″ REVIEWS OF OBEY THE BRAVE, PEACE, STICK TOGETHER, AND SUBURBAN SCUM
Amid all the toughguy posturing and repurposed thrash riffage, it’s comforting to know there are still bands like Peace peppering the modern hardcore scene. With members from The First Step, Mindset, and Praise, the Baltimore straight-edge act legally couldn’t have released this eponymous outing with any label other than React. With positive messages shouted positively, Dischord-ian cuts like “What Else Can We Do?” and “Be Here Now” nearly have my X-ing my own hands.
The last time I saw Suburban Scum live, they opened a matinee for Sheer Terror that admittedly wasn’t a very well-received set. Every band deserves a mulligan once in awhile, so I pre-ordered Hanging By A Thread (6131) based on the handful of gigs I’d seen previously where they’d just killed it. A hefty metallic successor to 2010’s Internal War, the New Jersey crew drop five knuckles worth of desperation and rage. Still a record or so away from really leaving a mark, though…
Wait wait wait: is Stick Together‘s “Drugs Suck” a sped-up cover of Steve Jones’ “Drugs Suck” off 1987’s Mercy? No, of course not, but that would’ve been fucking cool, man. Then again, the boys from Wilkes-Barre probably haven’t ventured that deep into his post-Sex Pistols discography, though Surviving the Times (Triple B) affectionately repros much of the last decade or so of hardcore. Gang shouts, breakdowns, gang shouts during breakdowns–this one’s got it all.
Alex Erian made his mark in deathcore darlings Despised Icon, but from that band’s still smoldering ashes he’s quickly reemerged with Obey The Brave. Ups And Downs (Good Fight) showcases two self-identified “singles” from this very well-produced but altogether middling metallic hardcore project. Even with Terror frontman Scott Vogel’s appearance on “Get Real” and some unexpected soloing, I’m not particularly impressed or impacted. If this is their best work, I fear for the full-length.