Go It Alone - Histories (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Go It Alone

Histories (2007)


Forgive one for dulling the hype. One wishes not to shit on the hardcore parade, nor proceed as an X'ed up Debbie Downer, but what's the deal with Go It Alone? With Rivalry Records' epic buildup to the album's release, monumental artwork (almost literally) and to-the-point track listing, one would think this generation's Start Today just dropped. Prepare to question a personal opinion -- maybe I just don't get it.

Go It Alone do a decent enough musical impression of Revelation's late-`90s youth crew / straight-edge revival; there's little to question there. Histories is an enjoyable practice in gimmick-free, straight-up hardcore punk driven by raspy vocals, ambitious tempos (you know, considering the style) and the occasional splash of fairly original guitar work. Really, it is admittedly solid. Plus, the band proceed with a rare sense of heightened, carefully personal introspection that few bands playing at their caliber (or higher) can touch. But the band's second full-length, while a rare feat in itself considering just what Go It Alone play, isn't nearly as wholly captivating as it should be, even in the context of their own scene when put against the output of their peers. Maybe it's partially in part to Mark Palm's vocals: He's a passionate, intense fellow, but he also has little to no range in his voice, and that's a hurtful quality to the band when it's laid out over a casual hardcore backbone.

Histories certainly has some standout moments, though. "Rapture" spills forth hooks aplenty, as it's got speedy, catchy verses that are quickly reigned in for a mildly mosh-y section; those verses find Palm spitting "filled with the arrogance of youth I was convinced I would amount to something more," and he's perfectly followed up with punctual, shouted gang vocals repeating his last two words. "Weight I" is a unique offering, a track that builds up incredibly gradually and, aside from incomprehensible muttering, an instrumental guided by a steady drumbeat and cautious guitars. There's also the slow, vaguely Dag Nasty-esque "Monastery." But moments like these are lost among lots of merely okay-ish material.

Whether it's by their own labelmates or the bands they tour with, Go It Alone is likely to be overshadowed as 2007 proceeds. Whether it's an insult to call a band's output merely decent is personal opinion -- fact is, I don't believe they've topped the list...nowhere near, really. But offering a solid contribution never hurts, and Histories, as short as the band's is so far, is one worthy of at least a couple footnotes in hardcore's textbook.