New York hardcore, perhaps the toughest sub-genre within the already extremely hot headed hardcore community, proudly provides a long standing track record of influential bands (Cro-mags, Biohazard, Judge, just to name a few). New York never fails to eject pure brutality into an already intense genre. Provider continues that tradition with its latest 7" release, Wasteland, now out on Life to Live records.
Following in the footsteps of the aforementioned bands, while providing a strengthened modern twist similar to its contemporaries, Provider quickly slaps listeners in the face with Wasteland's 11 minutes of pure aggression. Coming off as a mix of thrash-infused hardcore (think Alpha and Omega) and "hardstyle" hardcore such as Trapped Under Ice, Provider stomps out all who oppose it. Transitioning from quick breakbeat rhythms to enormous back-bending breakdowns with simplistic ease, and quietly returning as if nothing happened, proves to be the band's strong point. The opening track "Bonekeeper" forcefully demonstrates Provider's prowess as it's shoved down the listeners ear.
A ferocious NYHC, hip-hop influenced guitar riff opens the song, leading up to an explosive entrance from the rest of the band complemented by a skillful dance on the hi-hat. The breakbeat continues full force, trampling all in its path. Soon, as if the the pure energy of the movement could no longer be contained, the band releases into a pounding movement, guitars slowly dripping down the listeners spine, like a knife being pushed in deeper. The lines "Count the ways I live in regret / Forever I pay this unending debt" are painstakingly stretched out over the section, seething of anger and angst. With an assertive "UH," as if signaling an attack, the song ends with a series of powerful chugs, complimented by a driving bass and creeping high hat/snare combo.
The rest of the album continues in much of the same manner. Throat-scratching, strained vocals litter the sonic landscape while the band swings to and fro in full force. Another highlight is the thrash filled "Losing Ground." Bringing to mind the best of Alpha and Omega as the band tears through the listener's ear drums. The album ends on a strong note with the quick chaotic explosion that is "Curse." Clocking in just under two minutes, it is one of the most straight forward songs on Wasteland. A simple power violence/NYHC riff repetitively dominates, speeding up and slowing down in rhythm until the final moments when powerful chugs and a series of creeping floor tom hits take center stage.
What Provider essentially provides, no pun intended, is the ability to showcase the best of NYHC. The metallic chugs, the painfully hardened vocals, the hip-hop-inspired beats. It is all there. What is essential for the band now is to make its own niche within the genre. In a sea of fish only the strong survive, whether it be through pure aggression, originality or something more. Wasteland is a product of the school, and a pristine one at that. All Provider needs now is to break free.