Is a band just as good if they don’t have the hype? In today’s hardcore scene, I feel like a lot of bands get passed over for lack of glorification and message board fame. Now, it’s hard to tell if Bracewar is really one of those bands; I would say they are on the lower end of the fame spectrum, but Nineteen Seventeen has become a reasonably large label and they have played both Sound and Fury Festivals. But kids are still busting nuts over Ceremony and Have Heart, so Bracewar gets a little lost in the shuffle. Fortunately for us, Bracewar has come back with their debut full-length, bringing more of their sound we saw on last year’s Bracewar 7”.
At the risk of pigeonholing this band, I would say Bracewar can be categorized in the larger genre of what I would like to call modern hardcore. I only put this out there because they cross over a few types of hardcore. They have the blindingly fast power-violence beats ala Infest and Negative Approach, combined with the slow mosh parts that you can’t help but to bang your head to. Juggernaut opens with a new “Intro,” which brings slow and heavy instrumentals that remind me a lot of Mind Eraser. The lack of lyrics on this track helps you ease into the band and the contrasting second track, “Calling Out.” It blasts you with a fast changing punk beat and almost incoherent yelling. Towards the end, as in most songs on Juggernaut, everyone slows down to really hammer in the heavy parts.
If you thought they might let up in the middle of the album, you’ve probably never listened to hardcore. Whoops, I mean, you would be wrong. The songs rarely lag as the fast and slow parts get more intense with each song. The longest song on Juggernaut, “Wake Up,” gives a new light to the band, where they throw every possible beat into one song. It reminds me of the almost convoluted sound of the aforementioned Infest, changing up the beat just when you thought you knew how the song was going to end. Much better re-recorded versions of “Unresolved Issues” and “Watch it Burn” also add to the encompassing feel of this album.
It’s obvious that this band should be destined for more. Perhaps they haven’t really found their crowd yet, or maybe I’m missing out on the bunch of kids going wild for them. Their live show made them my favorite new act of last year (although they’ve been playing for longer than that), and it’s not very often I’m sold on a band without hearing them on record. Although the twelve songs on Juggernaut only last about fourteen minutes, it’s all I needed to thoroughly enjoy this. But you don’t need my word for it; the band can win you over by themselves.
8.4 / 10
Posted May 13, 2011, 11:09 p.m.
The Sound and Fury festival 2011 has made their final line-up public. The event takes place on July 22-24 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, CA. Hit the ...
Posted March 11, 2009, 3:38 p.m.
Bracewar have posted a new demo track titled "On Your Own" here. The band last released Juggernaut in 2007.
Posted Oct. 13, 2008, 2:21 p.m.
Bracewar have announced plans to enter the studio this year to record their follow-up to last year's Juggernaut.
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