Blacklisted - Peace on Earth, War on Stage [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Peace on Earth, War on Stage [7 inch] (2007)

Deathwish Inc.

Philadelphia's Blacklisted aren't the easiest band to like, but it's difficult to deny them a position as one of the best hardcore bands around. I suppose, though, that what makes them tough to like is at the same time what makes them so appealing. The band's brutally heavy music paired with vocalist George Kirsch's dark lyrics can either make you feel great that you're not dealing with those emotions, or at the very least let you know you're not alone.

Peace on Earth, War on Stage is the band's EP followup to 2005's The Beat Goes On. It's easily as powerful as anything the band has released to this point and benefits from a seemingly solidified and fine-tuned lineup. At only four songs (six minutes) in length, the 7" is teasingly short of what fans of the band may have been hoping for. Somehow, though, the band finds time to slow things down at times to provide breakdowns and a more pummeling feel to the songs. Also showing growth, Kirsch manages to actually sing a few times, all the while without stripping any of the raw aggression away.

As dark as Blacklisted is, though, there is still some vary apparent hope through the bleakness. Kirsch's lyrics may focus on failure brought on by himself and others, but at the same time he continues to give the impression that such obstacles aren't enough to slow him down. It's reassuring to hear someone talk about life's difficulties without it ending at that and instead treating them as obstacles to overcome all the while avoiding trivializing them.

Blacklisted have proven themselves as one of hardcore's saving graces, a rock you can count on while the genre is paraded around in many different forms, often embarrassingly so. With Peace on Earth, War on Stage they reassure us that they're not going anywhere and they're only getting stronger.