Connecticut brosephs With Honor and the Distance have put out a rather swell split EP on Martyr Records, complete with a crazy four-way fold out digipak and artwork that could’ve been done by John Kricfalusi himself.
With Honor turned more than a few heads with last year’s Heart Means Everything as well as 2003’s self-titled EP, so it’s safe to say this’ll continue the trend. The band has added a healthy dosage of melody into their music, and it’s for the better – mostly. While the addition of such incorporates a new and great upbeat character to the band’s style, some of the chorus lines are badly plagued with relatively cheesy vocal semi-layering and near-effects. Granted it lasts no more than three seconds at a time, but it probably only seems like such a disruption since what makes up the rest of the three songs is really solid and enjoyable hardcore, flowing perfectly with no further errs on the band’s part. The opener “Gun For Hire” is easily the standout track, with appropriate usage of gang vocals, an abandonment of verse-chorus structure and a spectacular mid-song melody in the line ”I’m wishing for the day when I can break these chains.” The epic structure of “Pipe Dream” is pretty interesting for the genre as well though, breaking down into a harmonizing gang vocal chant that quickly fades into the background.
Standard procedure for most hardcore splits is to, after pulling you in with a more melodic opening side, practically curb stomp you with the second, and it’s no different here. But the Distance provides a rather scathing half of a bit more straightforward and almost equally interesting tunes, regardless of its clichéd positioning. Their youth-crew style, in the vein of Scraps And Heart Attacks, provides a darker alternative to its preceding side. In some cases it could probably kill cohesiveness, but here it mixes up the EP well.
Not only does the release hint at further development for both bands; it’s immediately enjoyable as well. If you like either band as well as the genre in general, I can’t find any reason as to why you wouldn’t dig this.
With Honor – Gun For Hire
The Distance – Phase One Of The Plan Succeeds