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Defeater - Lost Ground (Cover Artwork)

Defeater

Defeater: Lost GroundLost Ground (2009)
Bridge Nine Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: elliottfrelliottfr
(others by this writer | submit your own)

So, I've always been incredibly skeptical of concept albums. Certain mediums excel at presenting a compelling and cohesive narrative; others, while they are capable of having narrative elements, only tend to serve up a fractal story at best. I can think of a few concept albums which I thought were g.
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So, I've always been incredibly skeptical of concept albums. Certain mediums excel at presenting a compelling and cohesive narrative; others, while they are capable of having narrative elements, only tend to serve up a fractal story at best. I can think of a few concept albums which I thought were great records, but I didn't have a high opinion of those records necessarily because I thought that they told a compelling story. That being said, ever since I first heard Defeater's Travels, I've been rethinking that opinion.

Lost Ground is about as strong a followup to Travels as I could have hopedfor. Once again, Defeater is pushing contemporary hardcore into artistic challenging territory. There really isn't a single moment on Lost Ground when the band relies on any of the standard hardcore tropes that saturate the genre. Tempos vary from driving to meandering half-times reminiscent of Modern Life Is War at their best.

Once again, the vocals are raw and almost desperate sounding, which really imbues the record with a sense of urgency regardless of how fast or slow certain songs are. On Travels, the drumming was staggeringly impressive, but at times seemed a bit overwrought and all over the place. On Lost Ground, the creativity and impressiveness is still there, but the drumming feels a bit more calculated and tailored to what the rest of the band is playing.

The first track, "The Red, White and Blues," might be one of my favorite opening tracks off of any hardcore record in recent memory. Its upbeat tempo and driving guitars come to a sudden stop at about a minute-fifty into the songs, giving way to a slow and crushing drum-and-vocal break. The second track, and possibly my favorite song on the EP, titled "The Bite and Sting," has a waltz beat behind it, and I shit you not, it works. "Singin' New York Town" is probably the one track on the record that is most reminiscent of Travels, but it is still pretty far away from being a retread.

All in all, Lost Ground will have you counting the proverbial days to the release of the next Defeater full-length. Hell, even if you haven't enjoyed a hardcore record since Age of Quarrel, you may still love Lost Ground simply because it doesn't succumb to the stale pitfalls of the genre; there are no unnecessary breakdowns, no posturing. There is absolutely no moment when Lost Ground feels pretentious, or anything less than sincere.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDefeater - TravelsPolar Bear Club - Sometimes Things Just DisappearThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Make Do and Mend - End Measured MilePolar Bear Club - Chasing HamburgDefeater - Empty Days & Sleepless NightsA Wilhelm Scream - Career SuicideThe Flatliners - CavalcadeTouché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TSOL (February 28, 2010)

Pushing boundaries more often than not results in some proper shite. [2]

Solid EP release here. The first song is catchy as fuck, the rest of the album is melodic hardcore at it's finest.

shieldmyeyes (February 9, 2010)

i am really not that impressed. great band, great musicians, great live show, but the hype i don't understand. travels is way better. they said they wanted to push experimentation to the limit on this release... i think travels already surpassed that.

overdefined (January 13, 2010)

Jazzyjabes -

The review says that Defeater is pushing boundaries. Mikexdude says they're not. Why is that so stupid? I think maybe you didn't read the review carefully and thus did not understand Mike's response - a direct response to what was said in the review.

thirtyseconds (January 13, 2010)

Pushing boundaries more often than not results in some proper shite.

cherrycolarain (January 13, 2010)

I felt the best song on this was "Home Ain't Never Home", which wasn't even mentioned in the review, but man that song is incredibly sick.

jazzyjabes (January 13, 2010)

I don't even want to point out how stupid "Cool band, but they really aren't pushing any boundaries." is, but... Christ, you shouldn't be allowed to listen to music... ever.

chrisafi (January 12, 2010)

Age of Quarrel is nearly 25 years old. Madness

jaradyeah (January 12, 2010)

Awesome record, great follow up to Travels. Full stars for the double 7" artwork and packaging, the liner notes have extra context for the story in addition to the lyrics too.

jamespastepunk (January 12, 2010)

Great record and in my opinion, better than Travels.

brown (January 12, 2010)

"Cool band, but they really aren't pushing any boundaries."

Don't listen to Captain KillsYourDreams over here. this shit is legitimate.

i'm just joshing your potatoes, mike

thepopeofchili-town (January 12, 2010)

What's up with all the hardcore band whose names end in 'er' nowadays?

SloaneDaley (January 12, 2010)

knowing Mike I bet he is refering to the music, which while awesome isn't THAT original. Their lyrical approach is pretty darn unique I have to say, but that is more important to me.

Mr_International (January 12, 2010)

Pssh, so many bands have done the whole played-out black WWII veteran story that directly ties into and parallels the previous narrative from their last album thing. What a bunch of hacks.

5 stars

saladfingers (January 12, 2010)

Yeah, cos hardcore records about the struggle of a black WWII veteran returning to the U.S is well within the boundaries of the scene.

insinceredave (January 12, 2010)

"Cool band, but they really aren't pushing any boundaries."

Maybe not but the music slays.

danpib08 (January 12, 2010)

So disappointed by this follow-up, the full length was awesome (Travels?)

mikexdude (January 12, 2010)

Cool band, but they really aren't pushing any boundaries.

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