Rude Awakening
Collateral Damage



by EyeForAnEye USER (29 Reviews)
July 10th, 2014 | 1 replies

Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pounding, relentless, and heavy, the ‘true wave’ of Hardcore Punk has exploded in 2014 and has caused some Collateral Damage…

Modern Hardcore sees young kids throwing away their scene days and pledging their loyalty to their local….well, scenes. Their scene is normally summed up by one or two letters followed by HC, which are proudly printed onto their shirts, sewn onto their vests, or etched into their skin. When bands from these scenes go on tour, they proudly carry the banner of their local Hardcore scene along with them. The recent explosion of so-called ‘True Hardcore’ is the cause for these kids tucking their Stick To Your Guns shirts away into their closets (or trying to get rid of them on online merch trading sites) in an attempt to experience something more dressed down, and more real. These kids have opted to trade seeing bands produced by Joey Sturgis on a Clearchannel stage for local bands in graffiti sprawled DIY venues that may or may not be shut down next week.

As a result of this change in desire from the ever so transient millennial generation made up of former emos, scene kids, mall punks, and hipsters, ‘True’ Hardcore has exploded in the form of dad hair, camo shorts, and early to mid 20 somethings denying they ever wore a v-neck in 2010. When this generation isn't jocking throwback Madball and Biohazard merch, they’re listening to the bands that are riding the explosion’s shockwave. Rude Awakening, proudly displaying the banner of their ‘hometown’ of the New England based Merrimack Valley Hardcore scene (MVHC for short), are one of the many bands benefiting from this sudden intrigue. Having toured the country multiple times, RA has more or less paid their dues and can make claim to being one of the most well-known and well respected modern Hardcore bands out there right now.

Collateral Damage has everything a Hardcore album needs to make it memorable. Instrumentals that pack a punch, aggression that doesn't let up, anthemic sing alongs, and a sense of urgency are all qualities that are found in Collateral Damage. Progression Through Aggression tears open the album with a pounding introduction that goes right into Burning at Both Ends which sees Rude Awakening exercise cooperative intensity with dual guitars holding back to allow a tasty bass line to be heard. When that tension finally breaks, a slow paced lyrical flow emerges with winding fret-play and frenetic drumming to accompany it. The drummer uses the bass pedals liberally which sound crisp thanks to an A+ recording job by Dean Baltulonis who is no stranger to being given the task of making a Hardcore band sound great. Having done releases for Modern Life is War and Agnostic Front, Rude Awakening put themselves in good hands. One issue listeners may have is that they may hear a noticeable ‘ping’ sound in the background of a few songs, most noticeably on the breakdown of Black Widow. Though, in the grand scheme of things, it does nothing to bring down the intensity of Collateral Damage.

Rude Awakening takes what they have and brings it to a next level. A good example would be Black Widow that layers palm muted chords with a dirty, neurotic guitar lead. In addition, Rude Awakening like to move through tempo changes in their songs constantly which is refreshing as they play in in a style of music that seems to set the metronome once and go straight from there. Along with making great usage of dual guitars that compliment eachother, one of Rude Awakening's most respectable traits is their tendency to avoid common trappings in modern hardcore. These qualities allow Collateral Damage to have a much needed feeling of freshness in comparison to their more stale counterparts.

Like many bands of their cut, Rude Awakening are a band that carries a message, although a very by the books message you’d expect from a Hardcore band. Vocalist Josh Hynes does not hide behind anything in his lyrical delivery, sounding very much like a less shrill version of Trapped Under Ice’s Justice Tripp in his songs, he sings about finding unity and acceptance among the hardcore crowd and calls out religious bigotry in Higher Power. Hynes shines the best lyrically in Fence Walker where he calls out people indifferent to racist groups in Hardcore by opening the song by saying, “You’re stuck in the middle, you need to figure out what you’re about, by doing nothing, you’re doing something.” and closing it with a sing along section where he judges the subject of the song as guilty by association.

There are two songs that stand a shade above the rest of an already solid album. The first one being Black Widow which plays along a headbobbing chord progression accompanied by solid drum work that bridges into a smooth and catchy breakdown. Against The Grain is another attention grabber as it works through breakneck guitar work and drum fills over a lyrical flow and delivery that is able to keep up with the speed set by the rest of the band that once again sets up for a crushing breakdown which ends with Hynes quipping, “My kind goes against the grain!” These two songs, along with the rest of Collateral Damage shows that Rude Awakening have matured over the years and have released what will undoubtedly be a jam for Hardcore fans this summer.

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July 10th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Stream for the album can be found here and orders can be done via bridge 9

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