Review Summary: Negative Blast bring the party to you.
I’ll be honest – it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a hardcore LP with this much passion and energy being put behind it. Back in the day, I used to immerse myself in bands like Cancer Bats, The Bronx, F*cked Up, and Gallows with an unbridled zest for anything hardcore punk, but as the years have gone on, I’ve slowly disconnected myself from this kind of music. Why? Well, age could be a factor, but if nothing else it’s because these revered examples – the ones that are still active at least – haven’t given me much reason to be enthusiastic about this style of music anymore, outside of maybe Every Time I Die and a couple of others, and as a result I’ve drifted further away from what’s going on in the scene. All of that looks to be changing however; after discovering this San Diego quartet’s new album in my inbox, I checked it out for curiosity and the end results tore me a new one.
Without coming across hyperbolic, Echo Planet
good it instilled in me a newfound appreciation for the genre. Before delving into the minutia of the beast, it’s worth pointing out that Echo Planet
isn’t aberrant and it isn’t going to change the face of music forever, but what it lacks in inimitability it makes up for in utilising all of the very best aspects from the hardcore punk tool shed – streamlining a frothing attitude into this no-nonsense, nigh twenty-minute powerhouse record. It’s crystal clear Echo Planet
was written by people who irrefutably know and understand this style of music inside and out, bringing only the bare necessities to this rowdy party. Rain has relinquished his role on the drums – bringing in Hot Snakes’ Mario Rubalcaba – so he can focus on his duties as a frontman; the gambit pays off, as his apoplectic barks and imperturbable, effect-soaked croons make the record an incredibly stylish one. These excellent vocal takes are emboldened by fuzzed-up, chunky guitars and a boisterous rhythm section, with it all coming together under one impeccable production that is betwixt raw punk energy and crushing power.
I suppose there should be some kind of disclaimer attached to this review, just for you to understand my point of view on this album. If you’re after the specifics, Negative Blast’s sound captures the zeitgeist of mid-to-late-noughties-early-tens era hardcore punk, particularly hardcore acts from America and Canada during this time. As such, there’s a certain level of bias, as it touches on a point in my life with immense fondness. Nevertheless, don’t let that deter you from checking this out based on my own nostalgia for it – on its own merits, Echo Planet
is a rip-roaring reminder that hardcore punk can still be a dangerous and amazing style of music. What Negative Blast have ingeniously done is perfect this particular sound with alarming competence and precision, opening up this great genre to a whole new generation of listeners. It goes without saying, if you’re a fan of the aforementioned bands and this style of music, you owe it to yourself, and this band, to check out Echo Planet
, but if you’re new to all of this, it could well send you down the rabbit hole.