Reviews Lasting Impression 301.9

Lasting Impression


Hardcore really isn’t my thing. Still, every once and a while I like to break out of my comfort zone with something different. Lasting Impression, hailing from LaCrosse, WI, refer to themselves as “high energy hardcore.” There are a number of scenes or bands that could be name-dropped, but sticking with the basics as they do seems a solid approach. So what do I hear in 301.9? To be as succinct as possible: there’s a pretty strong late 90s-early 00s influence with some metallic undertones.

The record gets underway with an intro track that sets the tone for the rest of the record: angry shouts, violent imagery, and lyrical snippets about frustration, weaknesses, and strengths. While the tone is angry, there’s something of a positive undercurrent. The point-of-view tends to refer to the second-person throughout, and Ben Deml leads the vocal shouts that are often reinforced by guitarist Brian Fleming and a few guest crew voices. Generally speaking, these are all expected components of the genre.

The energy on the record is angry and flows well, though the recording is a bit equalized—I’d like to hear more drumming in the mix to bring the energy to the forefront and give a broader dynamic range. Still, the songwriting itself flows well from start to finish, refusing to let up, yet adequately differentiating between tracks. Lasting Impression have a distinct sound but their songs don’t all sound the same.

The songs are built on big hooks and shouted vocals. Deml has a powerful voice that sounds like it will hold up well in a sweaty basement, and the songs are really built around the anthemic vocal release. When the tempo slows, as in “Amygdala,” I tend to space out until the chant along of “How could you ever live with yourself” in “Have a Few Drinks (and Drive Home)” wakes me up. Its uptempo beat and the gang vocals make it a memorable track that’s well placed to keep the record flowing. Another standout is “Who Do You Think You Are,” with something of a guttural croak given to the vocals. At points, as in “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “Arrogance Is Nothing More than a Death Wish,” the songs dwindle into musical outros after hitting climax, mixing a metallic tinge into their hooks near the song-end, straying from power chords and instead going for a rhythmic ending with a bit of a guitar lead to push it through.

6.8 / 10Loren
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6.8 / 10

6.8 / 10

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