Review Summary: 13 minutes of everything you want to hear in a straight edge hardcore record.
By now, most people who are at all involved in the current hardcore or punk scene have heard of Title Fight. They are one out of a handful of bands combining 90s Jawbreaker style emo with the catchiness of pop punk and the aggression of hardcore, and have found themselves at the brink of mainstream success. Although Title Fight’s music is a hybridization of several genres, their members are deeply rooted in the hardcore scene and are involved in various other Wilkes-Barre bands such as Bad Seed, Stick Together, and Disengage, a straight edge band who just put out their debut full length, Expressions
, on Triple B Records. Because Title Fight makes up ¾ of Disengage, their fans will have no problem enjoying Ned Russin’s familiar, albeit more aggressive vocals.
The LP is just thirteen minutes long, consisting of twelve fast-paced hardcore sing-alongs, and is nothing but fun from start to finish. The lyrics deal with familiar youth crew and straight edge themes such as “tough guys” within the scene, hardcore unity, and as the title of the album suggests, self-expression. The track, Reason
, is straightforward and addresses the kids at shows who stand still with their arms crossed, by saying:
"Come to our shows,
Stand at the side.
You’re there for a reason,
So why do you act like you have something to hide?
You hear the music,
And feel it inside,
Lose your mind!
Don’t be afraid to express yourself,
You don’t need to be like everyone else."
In one of the more lyrically introspective tracks, Look Back
, Ned reflects on what the hardcore scene used to mean to him as a kid, and shouts that it is not too late to make a change and live up to one’s former expectations. While the album’s lyrics discuss topics that have been treaded before, their honest delivery makes up for any of the repetition present.
One of the best things Disengage has going for them is their accessibility; their sound appeals to a number of crowds, whether it be old-school fans yearning for youth crew nostalgia, Title Fight fans who appreciate their rougher edge, or simply fans of hardcore in general, looking for another 2011 LP to tack onto their top ten list. The album is easy to digest because of its familiar sound and short length, and it is filled with catchy guitar parts, vocal hooks, and bass lines. Expressions
is youthful and honest, and proves that sometimes, simplicity is key. Do yourself a favor and give this album thirteen minutes of your time, because quite frankly, any band whose members played a major tour this fall with Four Year Strong but still make time to record a little hardcore LP deserve a listen.