Brick By Brick - Thin the Herd (Cover Artwork)

Brick By Brick

Thin the Herd (2017)

Fast Break! Records

Hailing from Troy, New York - the spawning ground of such legendary groups as Stigmata and Dying Breed (as well as comparative newcomers Rude Awakening) - Brick By Brick has produced yet another meaty slab of heavy hardcore to add to their lengthy discography.

Brick By Brick’s been at it since at least 2005 when they released their debut full-length, Pull the Trigger, on a label with most the award-worthy name I’ve heard in some time - Stupid White Boy Entertainment. Three full-lengths later (their last, This World, My Enemy, was released on Eulogy in 2015), Brick By Brick has dropped their latest EP, Thin the Herd.

When it comes to by-the-numbers, blue-collar heavy hardcore there isn’t a need for a whole lot of innovation and Brick By Brick understands this. And that’s not a thinly veiled shot at the band. There will never be a shortage of “innovative” people making music. You want to challenge your ears to like something they’ve never heard, go right ahead. But if you want to hear aggressive music firmly anchored in tradition, look no further than Thin the Herd.

Fans of the band’s previous outings as well as the aforementioned Troy alumni will find something to sink their teeth into here. An above average production quality goes a long way on a hardcore record like this: everything sounds big and threatening, from the guitar riffs, to the rhythm section, to Rich Roberts’ guttural roar.

If you’re not familiar with the musical phenomenon known as “Troy-core,” bands like Full Blown Chaos, 100 Demons, and a less-shrieky Sworn Enemy should serve as adequate signposts. Thin the Herd is a solid release from Fast Break! Records to be sure. It also doesn’t hurt that Cold As Life’s Craig Halloway provided the stunning (but, as is to be expected, insanely violent) artwork. If Thin the Herd came out back in ’85, Tipper Gore would’ve forgot all about 2 Live Crew and W.A.S.P. because the cover alone would’ve made her head explode.