If you're even remotely serious about hardcore then you probably already received, or gave yourself, a history lesson about the genre. Depending on the school of thought you belong to your education begins with the early eighties bands like Black Flag and Minor Threat.* If you or your teacher is of another mind it probably started with one label: Revelation Records. Of course most of the teaching here is about the straightedge movement, but if you did your homework, you'll have learned that the bands that came in the wake of straightedge movement were just as, if not more important. Bands like Quicksand and Inside Out (featuring Rage Against the Machine frontman Zach De La Rocha) took the passion and fury of the eighty-eight style and expanded both the sound and content. This lead us into the Equal Vision Records era, where bands like Burn and 108 took the torch lit by the early nineties Revelation bands and kept the sound and the message going strong. Today that youth crew sound of the eighty-eight era straightedge bands is back in full effect, but the style that followed is all but extinct.
Following the same formula comes I Rise out of Worcester, Massachusetts. Unlike many of the Revelation and Equal Vision bands from that period, I Rise manages to be outwardly political and spiritual without seeming preachy and or too outspoken. The band wears their beliefs proudly on their sleeves for all to see, but only if they wish to look. The song "Feared" focuses on the terror felt when encountering those who have taken the word of God to be absolute authority. Seeing that this is just a taste of what's to come from the band, I can only imagine as they progress the lyrics will become even more poignant and thought provoking.
Musically the demo is heavy and mid-paced without relying on breakdowns to provide a bulk of the songs with their power. Each songs builds upon itself, at times opening with discordant guitar lines and at others, thick drum beats and backed by solid guitar work. What makes this demo so strong is their ability to understand a formula but tinker with it so that each song sounds fresh and innovative while also sounds distinct from the others. Other bands take note; this is where you fail. Stylistically the music is reminds me of some of the slower songs on One King Down's Bloodlust Revenge album. The only real problem with this demo is that it clocks in at just less than ten minutes. While it's enough to get you pumping your fist, it's far from enough to leave you satisfied. For now, the entire demo is available for download on the 1917 Records website, with whom they recently signed.
* If you somehow left this era out, do yourself a favor and read the book American Hardcore. If you're lazy or just want to see some decent archival footage, check out the film of the same name.
8.5 / 10
Posted July 3, 2004, 11:04 a.m.
The dates for the upcoming Crime in Stereo and Burning Bridges tour have been announced. The Reform have elected to drop from the tour though. Dates are as follows:
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