Guns Up!, Borrowed Time, and Hope You Choke…
Posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2006 @ 11:07am » permalink
Oh yeah, I was a big fan of 2004's "All This Is" EP from Massachusetts' Guns Up!, so I was psyched to see "Outlive", their debut "full-length" (though it's less than a half-hour, so I always debate that, heh), show up in the ol' P.O. Box a couple of weeks ago from 1917 Records. As expected this one delivers in fine form with 11 tracks of raging metallic hardcore with a super intense vocal performance that definitely hits me. Now, I say "metallic", but these guys do basically stick to more of a traditional hardcore base from a songwriting standpoint – just upping the aggression and tacking on a bit of an added crunch. The recording's a little dirty, I wouldn't mind a hint more polishing up to round things out and thicken up the punch, but other than that I'm all over this shit. They're branching out just a touch in terms of a few unexpectedly dissonant areas very loosely reminiscent of post-hardcore textures, and there are even two or three areas you could almost classify as lightly "melodic" in a way, but basically the material has a NYHC sort of sound that should please fans of the tried and true formula. However, the vocals alone really do help to give Guns Up! their own sort of edge, and this isn't really a one-sided record or anything. Hell, the fact that "Won't Change For Me" totally jacks an Entombed riff at the end freshens up the listen, too, ha, ha! And like their last album this disc has a really nice looking layout that's not very typical for a hardcore album, and I dig that. Good stuff… another winner from a great band that I'll look forward to hearing more from down the road.
Guns Up! "Won't Change For Me"
Guns Up! "You Break"
This one just came out a couple of days ago, so if you feel the same as I do about it, grab one straight from the label's new webstore:
@ 1917 Records
I don't really know much about Borrowed Time other than the fact that they're from Rochester, NY and their debut EP on Reaper Records, "No Escape From This Life", drops five new tracks and three from their demo. Oh, and of course that this is some seriously burly hardcore with a massive dose of metal thrown in for good measure. Everything about this shit is just thick and in your face, with tons of dense midpaced breakdowns and a good assortment of gruffly shouted vocals from various band members. For the most part you're looking at two- to four-minute songs built around a solid framework of chugging NYHC riffs played at a slightly slower than average pace (thus adding to the general heaviness and the aforementioned "burly" vibe), then they'll contrast that sense of groove with more of a melodic angle to the solos, which are actually very well executed and help to further differentiate the band from the typical element of this genre (as do the vocals, which almost have a street punk sort of edge, and in terms of heavy hardcore are only comparable to a style somewhat along the lines of the one and only Paul Bearer, as a reference point). Plus, as the album title suggests, this is also relatively dark and bleak material, which always does the trick for me, so I'm sold. I'm guessing that most of the people who check this site on a regular basis aren't familiar with these cats just yet, but I'm also betting that a number of you who are into this style of metallic hardcore will be all over this stuff. This is definitely some no bullshit material right here.
Borrowed Time "Always Been a Loser"
If you're down, make the grab:
@ Surprise Attack Records
@ Very Distribution
Hope You Choke hails from Minneapolis and contains former members of Holding On and Bodies Lay Broken, among others. Their self-titled debut "full-length" (again, it's a quick one at about 20 minutes) from One Percent Records (Whose website is blocked by my work's ingenious security filter as a "weapons" site – what the fuck?) is actually a big step up from their 2004 demo across the board. The recording's a lot stronger, the writing and performances feel tighter and fiercer, etc. When you look at some of the bands that these guys have played in previously it makes their unique blend of hardcore and metal make a little more sense, too. By and large they're a moderately paced to fast hardcore band when all is said and done, but they'll go and toss in some thrashy leads or quick bursts of raw metal that sort of sound like Slayer circa "Hell Awaits" or something like that from time to time as well, and the vocals also have a harsher and more over the top edge happening as opposed to most of what you'll hear from straight hardcore. It's a cool mix, because they retain the energy and overall vibe of hardcore while flirting with vague hints of grinding thrash, so it all pieces together and comes across as unified.
Hope You Choke "Hope is the First Sign of Defeat"
Hope You Choke "File Under Mediocre"
If you're into it, buy one, because downloading sucks:
@ Surprise Attack Records