It’s hard to imagine a release of such modest stature being more readily equipped than the Warriors’ Genuine Sense of Outrage. The most obvious of facets is owning claim to one of the best names for a hardcore band, coming from one of the most hardcore movies ever made. Furthermore, the album boasts guest spots from heavy-hitters Lou Koller (Sick of It All), Andrew Neufeld (Comeback Kid) and legendary Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead). Topped off by production from Cameron Webb, who helped deliver Ignite’s most recent triumph Our Darkest Days, plus some ultra-intense artwork, Genuine Sense of Outrage would seem stacked right from the start.
Before anyone asks, this is no War Is Hell. And whether artists should even try to recreate previous releases is well outside my moral jurisdiction. Genuine Sense of Outrage sees the adoption of even throatier growls that rise above music that still walks the modern metalcore line while maintaining an affinity for mid-`80s east coast hardcore like Madball and Sick of It All. While such a transition may put off Warriors fans of the old guard, it does seem appropriate given their recent entry to the Victory Records family that a catchier, more accessible and diverse record spill forth.
The Warriors seem to capture their best work on Genuine Sense with the handful of songs that top out at only two-and-a-half minutes, but still manage a great variety of rhythms that range from brutal hardcore slams to head-bobbin' hip-hop beats (the band will be playing shows with DMX this fall), riffs that go from slicing metallic staccato to heavy crunches, and moods that range from angry to even more angry. Even the album’s longest song, “Destroying Cenodoxus”-- while suffering from an over-saturation of growling -- remains potent, built on the “genuine sense of outrage” the Warriors claim lyrically and emotionally.
Even though the album as a whole is stylistically rather homogenous, the compositions themselves rarely sound formulaic, save for the nearly identical marching snare intros to “Your Time Is Near” and the rambunctious and stellar title track. “Odium Vice” drops a brutal hardcore punk rhythm after steady rock riffing, with an intense spoken word breakdown that hears lead vocalist Marshall Lichtenwaldt attest "You can’t blame anyone except yourself / You know damn well what you reap!"
The high-profile guest appearances on Genuine Sense turn out to be of relatively small impact, as Andrew Neufeld barely makes a passing addition and Lemmy Kilmister’s gruff British accent doesn’t seem to bring much to the final product. It is actually Lou Koller of legendary NYC hardcore act Sick of It All that drops the most memorable of guest vocals on “Mankind Screams,” which emerge above a steady rolling beat and low brooding bassline and invokes a hint of nostalgia from the hardcore veteran’s still impassioned delivery. In fact, “Mankind Screams” may represent more than just one of the album’s standout tracks, but a passing of the torch, a voluntary recognition that times change, but the past mustn’t be forgotten.
That in itself seems to be the Warriors’ message on Genuine Sense of Outrage, a bridge between the stylized harvest of the new-school crop, and recollection of the unbridled intensity and raw fervor that gave hardcore its name.