Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cassette Review: CONCRETE WALLS "2015 Demo - The Antisleep Sessions"


[$3 // Edition of 31 // https://xconcretewallsx.bandcamp.com/album/2015-demo-the-antisleep-sessions-2]

Whenever I see the word "demo" I always think that the quality might be a bit rough but with technology today I feel like that's no longer going to be the case.    These songs do not seem to give up anything for being part of a demo and they hit just as hard and fast as anything I've heard before.   With screams and guitars that do the starts and stops this is a distorted mix of hardcore and metal.    As I've thought about the history of music and how an artist could combine so many different components now to create their sound- to give them a new blend instead of sounding like an existing artist- I just think about how large the pool is in the hardcore/metal scene and how the different combinations just within it could leave an endless supply of new sounds.

As much as CONCRETE WALLS reminds me of the metal side of things such as Dead to Fall and Scars of Tomorrow, there are also other elements in play as I can hear bits of both Refused and Mudhoney.  Adding in that bit of Mudhoney does make quite a difference to me in the best of ways.   Through fast paced chaos I can also hear the heavier side of He Is Legend (whom I love but haven't listened to since they did "I Am Hollywood", one of my all-time favorites) and pieces of Fight Paris (Anyone else remember them?) and Darkest Hour as well.   But please do note that these are based upon my younger hardcore/metal years as the bands I see on huge shows with Thrice and that sort of idea today are not quite as much of my scene.

The songs are quite the rush of adrenaline and they end with an acoustic number, though it is short in length, and it is a nice way to bring you back down to reality before the cassette ends and you realize that you are not where the music might think you are.   You know, I started reviewing music in 1999 and listening to it before that- obviously- and I think that by the early '00's hardcore and metal had reached their peak.   So many bands came out sounding the same and so I took a break (for something like ten years) and now I've been slowly finding bands that are what I remembered and enjoyed about hardcore music.     Just to put things in perspective for you this was a time when Glassjaw and Drowningman were playing Hanover House together and I don't believe that placed held more than a hundred kids.

As much as it makes me feel like a grumpy old man to say "Oh, music back then was so much better than it is now", bands like CONCRETE WALLS are helping me not to say that quite as much.    There are a few hardcore and metal bands that I enjoy right now, that I've been listening to the past couple of years, so it is easy enough to say that CONCRETE WALLS can hold their own with their modern peers because I just feel like the majority of the newer hardcore/metal bands all sound the same thus CONCRETE WALLS stands out.   But this is a cassette that would even be able to hold its own in what I consider to be the prime of hardcore music.






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