So I first saw these guys in 2004 supporting Bad Religion (quite a memorable weekend -- Bad Religion Friday with Fireapple Red and Randy, NOFX on Sunday with Epoxies and Swingin' Utters; unfortunately I couldn't catch NOFX on the Saturday, but what a lineup) with barely any knowledge of them. I'd heard one song once, but after seeing them I was desperate for their CD and soon got it.
Politically speed-fueled melodic hardcore appears to be the correct term for them and it fucking rocks. These guys certainly have grown since I saw them play at that show to a small number of people and they deserve it. Angry vocals from Tarek, the lead singer, have lines sticking in your head for days. "There's millions of people dying, it doesn't seem alright." His vocals are superb, effective screaming emphasizing the anger as well as easier vocals still portraying their message. These are lyrics from passionate believers and activists; within a minute of "Born as Innocent" that's blatantly obvious.
These guys have it down to the very last detail with the guitar, bass and drums too. Perfect timing, a typically fast and hard drum beat to go with clever guitar-work and the bass-lines without any breaks to finish the product. The palm-muting in "Buy Yourself" despite being simple works so effectively. The emphasis it adds to the pissed off lyrics cannot be reflected by words; this is truly remarkable and little things like the addition the bass drum has proves this hasn't been rushed.
A massive 'defense' budget, to 'protect our interests?' What a load of fucking shit!As I said, the band are pissed off and I love it because it is portrayed so well. The work of the backing vocals to lead in those three lines is brilliant.
However, after "Buy Yourself," I cannot help lose slight interest 50% of the time when I listen to it. It's not that they're bad tracks, but the first six tracks have been huge in terms of power and greatness value. Things do pick up in "Appointed Sympathy," however, the use of the wah really doesn't fit in with the hardcore sound, unfortunately making it sound cheesy.
A more fitting exit track couldn't have been chosen, a more easier and optimistic tone. It's summed up pretty well by one of the final lines: "Drinking beer until the end." They may appear pissed off and do appear that way in a great style, but they are happy guys and enjoying it.