Imagine that your favorite modern hardcore band hopped into Doc Brown’s DeLorean and ended up in 1982. Upon arriving, they decided to start over and carry their same ferocious messages with the spirit of New Wave music percolating the airwaves at the time. Does that sound appealing? Then you’ll love Casual Burn’s most recent release, Mean Thing.
The band has a wide array of influences: Babes in Toyland, Wire, Patti Smith, and The B-52s to name a few. From the way they translate their message via lyrical content song structure, you can tell that they exist in a modern hardcore world. Still, Mean Thing carries the dust of older generations with it, and wouldn’t sound out of place next to your early Dischord tapes.
That said, the reverb-soaked vocals and new wave-type mix may soften the impact of what they’re trying to do -- at least on this release. While the songs are all well written and the appropriate level of aggression is certainly infused into the composition, it’s watered down by the mixing job. In theory, the idea of a hardcore band starting a new wave project is fascinating. It just didn’t stick this time.
Of course, Casual Burn isn’t the first hardcore band to release a reverb-soaked record in 2019. Their love of a progressive '80s subgenre is admirable and unique. And it’s certainly better than another meathead beatdown band ruining the genre. So if you’re into this trend of reverb-drenched hardcore emerging at the moment, then this is a solid release. I, however, am not. So I’m giving Casual Burn’s Mean Thing a 7/10.
7.0 / 10
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