Thirdface - Do It With A Smile (Cover Artwork)


Do It With A Smile (2021)

Exploding In Sound Records

One of the first anticipated hardcore albums up this year is Thirdface’s debut album. Hailing from Nashville and releasing their first recordings in 2018 with a demonstration of righteous aggression, the band has been in the undercurrent of discussions within the scene for having real potential to create something special. It’s challenging to release a hardcore album that can only be heard and not experienced but until that happens, Thirdface delivered with a true front-to-back listen with their debut.

Do It With A Smile is an aggressive slab of sludgy hardcore. Listeners will be immediately hit with an arty bass guitar driving them into an avalanche of metal influenced punk. The brain curdling vocals of Kathryn Edwards rattle between the wall of guitars. The album is an intense listen throughout favoring for a a flavor of hardcore that is more based in nuance than intentional mosh parts. “Local” and “Chosen” are relentless followers in that same pattern. Do It With A Smile sets itself up with bangers out the door before settling into weirder elements.

“Grasping at the Root'' begins to tease those elements as the song slows in the middle to let the bass of Maddy Maderia find subtle groove within the screeching guitar of David Reichley. Their interplay is a standout throughout the album which is immensely supported by the talent of drummer Shibby Poole. Poole’s drums allow Thirdface to explore spacey jazz sounds without letting up the energy. See “Ally” into “Villians!” Poole plays in Yuatja as well. The production across the album also benefits these dynamics with clearer tones taken despite the harsh sounds. The band straddle the artfulness of a Ceremony or Converge with the pensiveness of a Gouge Away.

While the release grabs you at the front end, the latter half is where Thirdface keeps your attention. Exploring longer songs allows the previous elements highlighted to be singularly experienced. The drum and bass flavored ending of “No Requiem for the Wicked” is about as close to the band comes to a breakdown, but it’s filtered through their own creative and hazy lens. With the “Interlude” of the album, placed as the third to final track and longest song on the release clocking in at three minutes and fifteen seconds, Thirdface even falls into post-rock territory. And does it well!

Do It With A Smile is a must listen for any fans of creative heavy music. In collaboration with all the influences the players of Thirdface bring into the band, they’ve also created something wholly original. Not an easy task for a hardcore band, let alone on their first full length.