It’s a beautiful thing when a good band turns to great; when they put out an album that ends all skepticism concerning the band and turns everyone’s head. Such is the case with Comeback Kid’s spectacular sophomore effort, Wake The Dead.
The band’s passion-filled debut, Turn It Around, put this band near the forefront of the straight edge hardcore movement, with its breakneck speeds and heart-stomping breakdowns. Still, people argued that it was a bit too generic for comfort, and that the album’s songs blended into one another after five songs, making for a rather boring listen after ten minutes. Now, I don’t know if the band took those comments to heart, but Wake The Dead has remedied any problems the band has had in the past and has turned out to be a flawless effort from a band who will no doubt be name-dropped as one of the most elite bands in hardcore after this release.
Where Turn It Around failed, Wake The Deaad excels; each song is rather distinct, not in the fact that there are a lot of “departures” to be found, but that each song has its own identity and its own parts that are unique to the song. Also, the length of the album has been cut short by four tracks, from fifteen to eleven, making for a more concise (but no less intense) listen. Lastly, the production is as in-your-face as a hardcore album could sound, making the move to Victory Records (I know, we all groaned when we heard it) a seemingly helpful move. Simply put, Wake The Dead sounds as amazing as the music is. The vocals are cleaner, the drums are more effective, and the gang vocals sound fuller. Check the end of the title track for proof; it’s the best sing-along since Bane’s “Can We Start Again.”
Comeback Kid’s music has also taken a turn towards the more punk rock-influenced hardcore spectrum, exchanging breakdowns for sheer speed and surprisingly more melodic (but no less hard-hitting) riffs. In fact, there’s almost nary a breakdown to be found here; you’ve got your typical slower-paced rhythms to get the kids stomping, but nothing as earth-shattering as the end of, say, “All In A Year,” the opener from the band’s debut. The most amazing part is that you will not even notice; the songs are that good. Besides, you can still get all of the breakdown mayhem found on their debut if you see them live, which I highly consider, for they’re currently on the straight edge hardcore tour of a lifetime, opening for Bane and With Honor.
There’s also nothing like listening to an album for the first time and being ripped in half by an amazing album opener; “False Idols Fall” is the quintessential hardcore anthem. It’s got speed, power, gang vocals, and a powerful closing, and all you can do after the song is over is smile because it was just so absolutely perfect. I can’t remember the last hardcore song that made me smile. From the opening, to the insane gang vocals of “Wake The Dead,” to the anthemic and soon-to-be crowd favorite “Partners In Crime,” to the technicality of “Bright Lights Keep Shining,” you’re left in awe at how good this band sounds. Scott Wade’s vocals are top-notch and unbelievably charismatic, and the guitar work is spectacular, not for its technicality and hard-to-play parts, but just for making some of the best hardcore riffs I’ve ever heard. Every song is excellent, and, as stated before, each has its own identity, something that is hard to come by in recent years with hardcore music.
This is a hands down ten out of ten. I’ve heard very few albums that have knocked me on my ass past a month’s worth of listening, but Wake The Dead has done it. This is one hell of musical accomplishment, and is 100% deserving of a perfect rating. Pick this up TODAY.
“False Idols Fall”
“Wake The Dead”
“Partners In Crime”
“Bright Lights Keep Shining”