Backtrack
Darker Half


3.5
great

Review

by Martin L. USER (44 Reviews)
December 28th, 2011 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fun fact: this band is directly next to The Backstreet Boys in the Sputnikmusic database

In my experience, Long Islanders are the fucking worst as far as Northeasterns come (withholding Jerseyans, obviously... I mean, it wouldn’t even be fair to include them). Residents of Long Island have a tendency to be obnoxious, crass, and overbearingly irritating; and unlike Bostoners who seem to stick to their chilly homes in Massachusetts, L.I.‘ers somehow feel the need to share themselves with the rest of the East Coast.

I’d like to say that Backtrack distinguish themselves from this ilk and it can be seen through their brand of hardcore punk; yet I cannot, as the exact opposite is the case. Darker Half is a grossly abrasive effort, turned to 11 as some might say. Still, throughout the 23-minute album, the band is focused and never loses intensity, and their ire is more pointed and efficient because of it.

The draw to Darker Half isn’t in the technique as much as it is in the execution. They play to their strengths, and one of those seems to be a knack for incorporating similarly-styled songs together without inducing dullness or tedium, as is often the case. While it is fairly conventional in its scope and therefore lacks many defining factors that would separate Backtrack from their peers more wholly, Darker Half is a solid album as any in the modern hardcore realm and it proves that they should be more relevant in today’s hardcore discussion.

Admittedly, one of my favorite aspects about Backtrack isn’t solely their adeptness at performing the NYHC sound to a “t,” but rather their avoidance of pitfalls. Sure, Darker Half is hard-hitting, but I find it more impressive that they achieve such a roiled fervor without succumbing to songwriting that centers on breakdowns. Tracks like “Darker Half” tend to get a bit chugg-heavy and tiresome at points, but the majority is well-paced. More often than not, the tracks are fluid and seamless, much the Darker Half is in totality.

There is a negligence of any single-track highlights, but in a hardcore record as short as Darker Half, who really needs the Sparknotes version when the album is so terse? The intensity here is palpable, like a solid that coagulates into your ears-- a hardcore version of the “wall of sound” effect, if you will. All in all this makes for a listen that may not be wrought with creativity, but is nonetheless overflowing with passion.



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user ratings (81)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
cvlts
December 29th 2011


8984 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album goes hard.

Hawks
December 29th 2011


35838 Comments


Album cover is awesome lol. This sounds like something I'd enjoy.

pmmets07
December 29th 2011


5926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

YOU LEFT ME OUT

botb
December 29th 2011


9776 Comments


band's fun live

Tyrannic
December 29th 2011


3262 Comments


"In my experience, Long Islanders are the fucking worst as far as Northeasterns come (withholding Jerseyans , obviously... I mean, it wouldn’t even be fair to include them). Residents of Long Island have a tendency to be obnoxious, crass, and overbearingly irritating; and unlike Bostoners who seem to stick to their chilly homes in Massachusetts, L.I.‘ers somehow feel the need to share themselves with the rest of the East Coast."

why

carouse
December 29th 2011


334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

why not?

Tyrannic
December 29th 2011


3262 Comments


idk it just seemed unnecessary. it has nothing to do with the music...

carouse
December 30th 2011


334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's an introduction to my take on the album
should it not be included?
i always thought reviews were for more than simply describing an album's sound, no?

Tyrannic
December 30th 2011


3262 Comments


i mean yeah, but it reads as pompous in places and kind of amateurish in others. i get that both of us are certainly amateurs, my writing isn't perfect either, but i feel like one other important factor in review is voice. you don't wanna come off as a 16 year old, you wanna come off as someone people should believe. by all means keep it in there if you want, i could be full of shit, but that's just my take. art is art and writing's no different.

carouse
December 30th 2011


334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fair criticism. so you dislike the tone here altogether or you just feel that it's used inconsistently?
I mean basically, it's an intro-- it's not really there to describe the music but to begin the review with a light tone, at
least in this case.

r0bbb
January 8th 2012


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i love that album so much

KSK1
April 21st 2012


4094 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good, short review. You did a good job describing the sound. But yeah the first paragraph is a little uncalled for and i'm slightly offended tbh. If it were me writing, i'd acknowledge the stereotype without stating your personal opinion on it if you know what I mean.

xstaytrue18x
May 21st 2012


580 Comments


soooooooo overrated, why the fuck does everyone love this band? all my friends never shut up about them, sounds like a TUI cover band.

carouse
May 21st 2012


334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

soooooooo overrated, why the fuck does everyone love this band? all my friends never shut up about them, sounds like a TUI cover band.


You have 5 Creed albums rated as "classic."

FourthReich
February 19th 2013


18135 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hard to rate this, it's pretty fun, though very average

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Betray
December 4th 2014


4726 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

2-stepping hard rn

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