Theres been a lot of words used to describe Minneapolis A Second from the Surface: metalcore, grindcore, crustcore. All of them are very specific genres, but not one of them is accurate. A Second from the Surface are hardcore, plain and simple. More on the old school side than the hardcore that we see nowadays on every Warped Tour. As such, The Streets Have Eyes is a damn good album from a damn good band. Album may be a bit of a stretch - ten songs in a little over twenty minutes might just barely meet the qualifications for a full-length, but as always, were talking quality folks, not quantity.
Taking a little piece from most core subgenres to create an absolutely vicious sound, these three little Minneapolites ( apolarians?) create a sound that, while not very technical has a thick, meaty quality that would give the impression of a larger roster than a mere trio. Heaven knows you can do wonders these days with Pro-Tools, and it might, in fact be an assembly of trackings and overdubs, but theres a sincerity and honesty in the delivery and execution that has me believing this isnt the case. It reminds me a bit of Celebrity Murders - one of the best new hardcore bands to come out in a long time. These guys are a tad sloppier than Celebrity Murders, but this isnt a detriment, it gives a rawness to the sound that adds more weight and credibility to all the post-production conspiracy theories.
Dual vocalists are all the rage these days to the point of it almost becoming a cliché but A Second from the Surface use it to their advantage. One vocal more controlled, while the other well I assume by reading this far, youre familiar with Slayers War Ensemble? Imagine that Tom Araya delivery throughout every song on the entire album. That the album is only twenty minutes long starts to make a lot more sense. Any longer and the nodes on his vocal chords are going to punch their way through his trachea.
A completely irrelevant observation on my part is the name. A Second from the Surface just doesnt roll smoothly off the tongue like a band name should. What they should do guys? Tim? Luke? Tony? You listening? What you should do, is call yourself The Streets Have Eyes. Now thats a badass name. Just swap em. Band name for album title. Shoot, you dont even have to re-release anything. Its all right there on the cover. One press release and youre done. No problemo. Its still relatively early in your career - change em now before you get more popular. Even TSHE is a cool abbreviation. Think about it. Lemme know.
For the rest of you, in summation: Buy this album, even though none of you like the name anymore, as my power of suggestion is just that good, and listen to it while youre in your basement or rec-room or wherever the hell you kids hang out these days and relive the days when hardcore had a true sound, a true meaning and above all, a true heart.
7.7 / 10
After a couple of years of reviewing I’ve got a love-hate relation with genre definitions. I love ‘em because it makes my job so much easier. Just should a genre ...
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