Rude Awakening - Collateral Damage (Cover Artwork)

Rude Awakening

Collateral Damage (2014)

Bridge 9 Records

Rude Awakening's debut full-length for Bridge 9 is yet another great effort by this consistent and hard-working hardcore band from the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. Since 2011 they've released something every year and managed to tour their asses off with the likes of Madball, Expire and the Mongoloids, not to mention appearing at numerous festivals like Black 'N' Blue, This Is Hardcore and New England Metal and Hardcore Fest. Kind of makes me wonder when these guys had time to sit down and write a record at all, much less a good one.

Collateral Damage has a bit of a No Warning Ill Blood-era feel to it and I mean that as an honest compliment. Since 2002, I don't think I can pinpoint another hardcore record that's influenced as many bands as that one. And while some of R.A.'s material has those same chunky, groovy guitar riffs and a similar NYHC-influenced bounce, these guys aren't afraid to pummel listeners with straight-forward fast parts and crushing, metallic breakdowns laden with double bass. Vocally, R.A.'s singer Josh falls under the raw power category: he's got a naturally angry delivery that doesn't sound manufactured at all, fitting in perfectly with the music.

Rude Awakening has crafted an excellent, no-frills heavy hardcore record with Collateral Damage. They manage to pay homage to those who came before them while putting a bit of their own metallic spin on things. Judging by the band's ability to consistently release music, I would venture to say we won't have to wait long for a follow-up record. And since, in this humble reviewer's opinion, R.A.'s debut is one of Bridge 9's most solid releases in a long,long time, I can't wait to hear what they come up with next.