Review Summary: Energetic, old-school, and technically accomplished, Yesterday's News is a thoroughly impressive debut.
There are a lot of things that Yesterday's News
, the debut full-length from Strike to Survive
, does extremely well, so it's not an especially easy task to choose one factor by which to recommend it to someone. However, if I were to give a single endorsement of this Californian punk act, it would be to tell you that Yesterday's News
is the most deliriously fun piece of hardcore put out by anyone since Kvelertak
released their sophomore effort in the first quarter of this year. That is not to say that Strike to Survive
are a very Kvelertak
-esque band: in fact, in most aesthetic and technical regards, they are nothing like those Norweigan black-n'-rollers. Sure, the higher-register vocal performance certainly may bring to mind that band at some points, and a few song structures and impeccably catchy riffs can sound vaguely familiar, but in the end, the music of Strike to Survive
reads more as an amped-up, fun-loving, and more straightforward version of Refused than it does anything else. There is also a complete lack of Kvelertak
's trademark black metal influence on Yesterday's News
, so why am I centering this review on such incessant comparisons to such a stylistically divergent group? The answer lies in the ethos of and the type of emotion poured into this album. The past decade has been home to a massive array of Refused-influenced hardcore offshoots. Some of them center their art around anger; others on nostalgia. They can be sad, they can be violent, and they can grimy, but something that they more than often are not is fun. Like the best works of Kvelertak
, Yesterday's News
is a pure, unadulterated, blissfully enjoyable journey through the catchier and more uptempo realms of the hardcore punk scene. There is nary a dull moment over the album's half hour, each impassioned yell giving way to a rollicking bass lick; every blazing drum line accentuating a riff that grabs ahold of your head and doesn't let go for hours. Its aesthetics may not be anything anyone hasn't heard before, but for the incredible energy and passion poured into it, but this is not meant to disparage: Yesterday's News
is old school in the absolute best sense of the term. Strike to Survive
have one of the most triumphant hardcore debuts of the year on their hands, and they can only get better from here.