Bridge Too Far / The 21st Impact - Split (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bridge Too Far / The 21st Impact

Split (2006)


Let it be known that I do enjoy some well-executed hardcore from time to time. I popped in this split expecting nothing and was pleasantly surprised. So here I go Punknews, a positive review for a hardcore record. I know, I can't believe it either.

A lot of the hardcore I hear is too heavy on the chugga chuggas and the wah wahs, if you know what I mean. Canadian quintet Bridge Too Far make up the first half of this split, and their five songs exemplify to me what good hardcore should sound like. Everything is here in perfect balance. Jean-Philippe Lagace's vocals are throaty and powerful. There's melody in the right places, but most of their stuff is played at breakneck speed. The double-bass is kept to a minimum. The only song that's really built around a breakdown is "Epitaph for s Warrior," but hey, batting .800 is pretty impressive and that song has some killer riffage to compensate for it anyway. Strong backup and gang vocals are present throughout, especially on "Defiance." "The Payback" caused me to legitimately bob my head, a pretty rare happening in these parts. The lyrics here are pretty standard posi fare, which I guess is better than singing about hating your dad or something. The production is great, emphasizing the balance I previously mentioned. The whole package reminds me a bit of Rituals of Life-era Stretch Arm Strong which ain't a bad thing at all.

Sweden's the 21st Impact contribute the second half of the split and while solid, have a hard time matching the awesomeness of the first half. The "Runnin' with the Devil" intro on "Alright All Wrong" caught me off guard but the song recovered, thankfully. Vocalist Daniel Mohlen sounds like a young Lou Koller, especially on highlights "Pete Song" and "Strenght" (typo? I dunno). With the exception of 84-second closer "Hard Times Good Times," the 21st Impact rely on a driving, mid-tempo foundation heavy on riffs and seething with intensity. It's pretty different from the first half of the split and ends up complementing Bridge Too Far's efforts quite nicely. My only real gripe is the production -- the vocals are a bit low in the mix and difficult to hear at times, but it's hardly a deal-breaker.

This split is definitely worth checking out if you're not convinced there's some excellent no-frills hardcore being played outside of the Nifty Fifty.