Both fellow Scene Point Blank scribes Michael and Zed said that I would be fully into this five piece hardcore ensemble from Sacramento, California. I even recall Michael saying something about Defiant Voice being full-on 90's styled hardcore. How could I possibly not want to review a band that produces some tunes from my favorite decade of hardcore? Moreover, how could Zed and Michael ever be wrong?
So what do you know? Mikey and the Zedster were right. Defiant Voice sound like they should have been playing VFW halls in 1996, not an entire decade later. Defiant Voice has managed to cross the confrontational attitude of 108 with the slow menacing breakdowns of Chokehold and solid rapid pace of Mouthpiece. They even have the same heavy hearted politically leanings of Boy Sets Fire.
I keep hearing part after part of other sweet 90's hardcore alumni like the quirkiness of Sparkmarker, the metallic ebb and flow of pre-Shape of Punk to Come Refused. I even catch little blurbs of that recall the dirty noise laden sloppiness of Groundwork. I am also treated to memories of the emotional outpourings of Unbroken. Hell, Defiant Voice even uses the subtle melodic bass lines that made an appearance on various Outspoken songs. It's like taking a trip down memory lane whilst listening to the present.
Don't get me wrong there are plenty of bands these days trying to recapture the sound of 90's hardcore but they either want to be the next Integrity, Strife, or In My Eyes. All of that is good for what it is, but it's also a pleasure to hear a band that remembers New Age Records back catalog. I'd Rather Sleep in the Dirt brings me back to ALF pamphlets, Krishna chokers, and huge ass shorts. I could probably just go listen to any band I mentioned above, but it's also refreshing to hear a current band play the same style of hardcore that got me into this music scene in the first place.
7.5 / 10
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