Review Summary: The new kids on the block got something to say, and they don't care if you're not a fan.
Part of the fun of listening to straightforward hardcore and punk acts is their self-aware quality. Think of a band like Dangers--their lyrics are fairly ridiculous to any kind of ear and will produce more laughs than nods of agreeance, but the group accepts it. By the end of the day, they’re speaking their mind through ever shout and riff and they absolutely don’t give a flying *** what you think about it. It certainly seems odd to compare a band like Adrenalized to an act quite different from them, but there’s a true similarity to be discovered: like other established acts within the aforementioned scenes, Adrenalized demonstrate that classic from-the-heart, devil-may-care mindset that characterizes the two genres. However, Tales From the Last Generation
isn’t just another hardcore album with an attitude; rather, it’s an incredibly fast, hard-hitting, and addicting affair that challenges and even surpasses more established bands.
From the start, Adrenalized barrage the listener with blisteringly-quick riffs, blasting off through the explosive, melodic opener “The Prophets and the Wise.” Featuring a guitar part guaranteed to resonate forever in your head and a strong chorus, “Prophets…” does a perfect job of immediately showcasing the band’s talents: a mastery over speed, technically competent guitar players, and a furious rhythm section. The momentum doesn’t stop there--every single track following the wild beginning is played as fast as the band can manage, refusing to slow down for a single second. Supporting each song is a strong vocal outing, jumping from clean choruses to aggressive shouts with ease. All the elements combine in extremely memorable tunes, such as definitive highlight “Tarkin Doctrine.” Buoyed by a melodious central riff and an intense drum performance, the song races out of the gate as the lead singer leaps in and out of vocal harmonies that culminate in a poppy, unforgettable refrain that will practically force you to sing along.
It’s a highly effective formula; outside of the above tracks, Tales...
is full to the brim with instant hits. From the brief punk anthem “No Red Helmets”--the only track composed entirely of loud, pissed-off shouts--to the foot-tapping bassline of the album’s eponymous closer, Adrenalized hit the listener over and over with creative guitars and well-constructed choruses. You’ll find yourself screaming along to the harmonic reprise of the politically-charged “When the Screaming Began” and throwing down to the violent, heavy rocker “Dead Inside.” The band even takes some time for humor in the hilarious “The Taste of the End,” wherein the vocalist calls out posers in the hardcore scene. Moments like these show the entertaining care-free nature of the band, just playing what they feel like without paying heed to possible critique. Lines such as “Does your hairdresser know what hardcore means"!” are bound for the history books.
As skilled as Adrenalized are at their formula, it is
still a formula and is as susceptible to stagnation as any other. Although the record’s run time barely reaches the 30 minute mark, it can be tiring listening to one analogous fast song after the other. In the case of some songs, primarily the back-to-back “Eyeless Men” and “Empire of the Greedy,” the method simply falls flat; the chorus isn’t nearly as catchy compared to fellow album tunes and the dominating melody leaves quite a bit to be desired. The bass player, despite clearly containing considerable ability, is shown the door for the most part and is only really audible at choice moments. His lack of presence doesn’t quite give tracks the increased intrigue and layers they could have, making the listener feel occasionally as though something is missing.
While the release as a whole has undeniable faults, its strengths tend to outweigh its downsides. It’s entirely possible to ramble on and on about how damn good Adrenalized are at merging melodic hardcore with pop-infused choruses, because they truly are rulers in this combination. What makes it all work is the set’s willingness to follow their instincts and operate on passion, whether it works out in the end or not. Tales From the Last Generation
is a young band’s continuous effort to further their craft and compete equivalent acts. The end product is a statement full of expertise and brashness that would make any punk and hardcore band proud.