There's 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, we're 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 there's a sincerity and honesty in the delivery and execution that has me believing this isn't 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 isn't 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, you're familiar with Slayer's "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 doesn't 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 that's a badass name. Just swap 'em. Band name for album title. Shoot, you don't even have to re-release anything. It's all right there on the cover. One press release and you're done. No problemo. It's 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 you're 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.