Released by Coin Toss Records back in March, I probably should've been more on top of this four-song, 11-and-a-half-minute EP from West Chester, PA's Edgewise—their first new material in two decades. So, first things first, if you've not rocked their discography CD from 2003 (spanning 1989 - 1997), check that shit out! Meanwhile, Angels & Addicts finds longtime members Al Spina (vocals), Vince Spina (guitar), and Matt Tincani (bass) joined by newcomers Jess Goldey (My Turn to Win) on guitar and Kevin Ruggeri (Ten Foot Pole) behind the kit, and comes across as equal parts classic Edgewise meets the influence of bands like Leeway and Killing Time filtered through the modern edge of a group like Power Trip, for example.
"Choked Out" kicks off right away with a great mix of hammering bass, thrash-laced guitars, chunkier midpaced breakdowns, and gruffly shouted vocals; before the badass dirty bass intro of "Swift Remedy" leads into more of a traditionally-based metallic hardcore track that presents a fast-paced type of old school influence at times.
The title track adds some of those Slayer-ish ascending/descending metalcore runs to the arsenal; while the searing feedback and meaty power chord rhythms accented by octave chords throughout "In My Veins" totally have that early- to mid-'90s New Age Records feel—just the right amount of dark, metallic energy for an overall pounding, pissed off, and powerful delivery.
Production-wise, I sometimes feel that the guitars could be beefier, but I have to admit that the grit of their distortion leaves tons of room for the bass. The material is well-mixed in that regard, as nothing dominates and there's a nice balance, so the totally killer bass tone really highlights some great bass work that doesn't simply mirror the guitar parts. The layout is nice and clean, too. Cool logo/cover art, a few photos, complete lyrics, etc. Everything you need. Lyrical topics include police brutality, family turmoil, and the perils of drug abuse.
I've heard talk of a CD EP pressing coming soon, but for now, Angels & Addicts is up for grabs on pink (106 copies), "green slime" (156 copies), or black (162 copies) vinyl. Oh, and if you're in the Philadelphia area, the band will be selling 35 hand-numbered copies with a special cover at the record release show tomorrow at The Fire!