"Prisoner" is the latest EP from Auburn, NY's Born to Expire, which drops seven tracks of sludgy metallic hardcore in about 23 minutes. Since their last EP they've gotten a new drummer and one of the guitar players has taken over the vocal duties, but the lineup changes haven't really altered their approach. The vocals are very comparable gruff shouts, and the musical foundation remains intact—they're just moving towards slightly longer songs with a touch more variety. To my ears the riffs aren't as blatantly sludgy this time around (in the "southern groove" sense), but when the band emailed me about the EP they hinted that there's more of a Crowbar type of influence herein, and I agree (especially circa "Odd Fellows Rest"). The songwriting's driven by a core of thick, churning riffs that possess an energy similar to Crowbar's faster-paced material, as well as utilizing some of the crawling dissonance and intense dual guitar harmonies that I associate with Crowbar's finer moments. The recording's just a hint crisper and more balanced than that of their debut as well (and though not as up front in the mix, the basslines still have a very audible presence), so I'd say they're progressing nicely across the board. I'm not suggesting that they're some kind of copycat band with all the Crowbar talk, but the more I listen to these tracks the more that influence jumps out at me. I fucking love Crowbar, though, so... personally I'm a big fan of where these guys are heading!
They're currently selling the EP digitally or as a limited edition CD (only 100 copies made), with hopes of a vinyl release sometime before the end of the year. Make the grab if you like what you hear...