Halfway to Hell Club - Knowledge Is a Curse (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Halfway to Hell Club

Knowledge Is a Curse (2008)


Long Island's Halfway to Hell Club produce a promising debut EP of emotional and driving punk rock that varies moods and textures. Knowledge Is a Curse is the band's first recorded output, but it's done damn well and with a sense of accomplishment -- it probably helps that members have played in past locals like Your Arsenal and Your Tragic Hero, and one dude also handles skins in Down in the Fourth.

If there's a comparison to be made, it's probably mid-era Hot Water Music of course, but that's not to discredit Halfway to Hell Club as just another No Idea hopeful. After the upbeat nature and playful riffs of opener "Dearly Devoted," in comes the fantastic "Kitchen Window," considerably darker, bearing the aggressive gray shades of Rites of Spring (incidentally or not) and an anthemic chorus to boot.

The band flips the switch yet again with the more optimistic "What a Surprise"; frontman Roy has always had this melodic, punctual shout, and in this song, combined with backing "whoa"s it'll probably bring a more rugged Bouncing Souls to mind. The aggression of closer "Tales of Ordinary Madness" makes it an easy standout with cool guitar tones, a healthy dynamic, a chorus that makes it sort of a ‘band anthem' and a bold mid-tempo closing.

With just the right coating of rawness and a nice blend of creative guitar work and punk rock force, Knowledge Is a Curse is quite the solid debut. Halfway to Hell Club have the potential to become much more than "that pretty good local bar band," so let's hope they go and seize it firmly.

Knowledge Is a Curse EP