The first time I saw Betrayed I had no idea who they were. I saw them on the bill and figured I'd be outside for their set. So I was standing outside and I hear a song I recognize coming from inside. "Oh my god it's a Minor Threat cover." I tell my friend as we run inside to check out who this band is. And as soon as I see the band I am stumped, is that the guitarist of Champion singing? No, couldn't be. Well, boys and girls, here is it, the band that Aram Arslanian from Champion sings in. Ya know, the guy that always gives those motivational speeches at all the Champion shows? Well now he's a frontman. Great, isn't it?
Betrayed is a straightedge band, hence the title of the EP, Addiction. But oh no this isn't just another super-positive in-your-face band ripping off 80s style. Every song on this CD is bursting with energy and might I say heart. This seems to be something missing from bands today, and it's refreshing. Arslanian as the singer is perfect because he's been waiting to say this for awhile and he puts so much into every song. Another thing that separates this band from the rest, and that blew me away live, is their guitar solos! It fits in with every song and sounds great, making you bust out the air guitar every time. Also, the production is crisp, being from Bridge 9, so that adds to the energy of the album, being able to hear every palm mute, sing along, and guitar solo clearly. One indication of quality guitar work is Todd Jones from Carry On, and to my surprise, he is the lead guitarist/songwriter for this band.
Now to the best part of this EP: the lyrics. One of the things I liked on this album lyrically is that they have two songs about being proud to be straightedge: "Proud to Be" and "Addiction", and then they have two pick yourself up songs to just about anyone abusing drugs and alcohol: "Understand" and "A Light in the Darkness." Both of these not mentioning straightedge or any fuck you's, but just purely how he understands what people are going through and that they should try to rid themselves of the addiction. Yeah sure, some of the lyrics are a little cheesy, but that really adds to the motivational factor as you think, "Can someone really be that positive in hard times?" I guess so.
Overall this EP is great and I hope to hear more from this band. I love their approach to lyrics, instead of saying "Fuck you, I'm edge," they are saying, it doesn't matter if you are or not, just break yourself of an addiction and live a great life because of it. And you can tell every one of these guys are enjoying their lives, because they're playing hardcore music, having a good time, and enjoying every show till the last chord.
9.5 / 10
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