Review Summary: Monotonous, non-creative, and totally fun as hell.
Comeback Kid is a hardcore band hailing from Winnipeg, Canada, that have certainly made a large impression on the modern hardcore scene. They certainly do well to prove why this is off of Turn It Around
, a record that is as safe and sterile as it is blood-pumping and fun. It’s an interesting conflict of statements, really, because the lack of originality or differentiation should ruin the album much more than it does, however this isn’t necessarily the case. While they hardly contain the visceral throat-shredding that bands like Converge do, nor do they have the technical prowess that more mathcore-inspired hardcore does, there is an undeniable level of charm present off this record.
While the songs are better when being listened to as a whole rather than dissected by each individual instrument, there are some strong points to be noted, particularly in the drumming. It is somewhat standard fare for modern hardcore, as there is more vibrancy and energy than anything truly off-the-wall or creative. Still, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve been punched in the gut with drum fills such as that off of “Changing Face”. The drums, being the strongest point of this record, certainly cruise along nicely on a massive wave of crashing cymbals and pulsating fills.
With a lot of the power being reliant off of the drumming, however, the weaknesses in the other band members becomes evident, namely the vocalist. I can’t knock on him too hard-he sounds like he’s passionate, honest and like he’s truly enjoying what he’s doing-but this doesn’t exactly equate to anything interesting. It’s charming yes, but it’s essentially a copy-paste of thousands of others dime-a-dozen hardcore bands. Between slightly power-lacking shouts and predictable gang shouts, it becomes a little trite. He does, however, occasionally spice things up with much more gruff, abrasive sounding screaming, but these moments are rare. The other weakness present would be the guitar work, all this is somewhat more off-set from some true gems of guitar work. Usually it’s just a mix of open chords, chugging, and guitar riffs that exist solely to keep a pace and rhythm, however off of tracks like “Operative Words”, there is some glistening melody that manages to breakthrough, and it’s simply heartwarming. There are also occasions where a heavy-hitting riff manages to push through, such as off of the beginning of “All In a Year” which deserves at least a head nod (or two).
All of this is why there is a something of a duality in this album. It is, for the most part, an indistinguishable record. Hell, if someone played this back to me a few days from now (aside from a few tracks), I probably wouldn’t know what they were playing unless they told me. Yet somehow, this album is still more fun than it should be. It conjures up the images of angry youth that it seems quite dead-set on accomplishing, and for that, it’s commendable. “Forget the past, what’s done is done”. Really, these themes have been done in much more creative ways, with much more creative instrumentation to back them. Because these themes fail to stop being true, and because the need for an album that you can enjoy without putting much thought into it will always exist, Turn It Around
manages to be a short and entertaining listen with a hint of nostalgia alongside it. Indifferent to opinions and unashamed in its simplicity, it is an anthem to the youth, for the youth.