Bandage - North by northeast (Cover Artwork)


North by northeast (2014)

Self released

You know the feeling when you're starting to do something you really like, and as you begin to recognise the usual rush of endorphins you indulge in the pleasure that is both the immediate anticipation and the first taste of what's coming? This is what I felt the first times I listened to this amazing melodic hardcore record.

On their bandcamp page Bandage define themselves as “four too old to be young punk rockers from Greece [who] blend the music they grew up on with the music they love today.” These words, I think, are spot on: this sounds so much like a mixture of my favourite tunes that I want to piss myself. Fast, coarse, melodic, the songs in “North by northeast” clearly betray years of breathing the best bands in the genre, and the guys, fa from trying to be original at all costs, are able to reelaborate them in a way that shows musical expertise and, above all, heaps of love.

The production is perfect, crystal clear but still dirty enough (this was recorded in Athens and mixed and mastered in California by Paul Miner) and the lyrics, though not enlightning, seem personal and honest enough. And perhaps “honesty” is one key-word here, because it's hard to think Bandage as moved by something other than passion when playing music that is so good and so out of fashion. Just to drop some names I'll say I hear some Good Riddance / Only Crime (the vocals remind of Russ Rankin, and the general roughness points there too), some Strike Anywhere (minus the screams), Lifetime, perhaps even No Use For A Name in the most melodic parts (like the verse in “Demand”, one of my favourites), Nofx... but you know, the list could go on. The choruses could be a bit catchier, and this is my only complaint, but still, if you like this kind of music you have to give this album a try: chances are, you'll love it.