Reviews Western Addiction Frail Bray

Western Addiction

Frail Bray

There are bands who you rush to get the new record to see what direction they’ve gone. There are others you return to time-after-time because they have a style and they’ve nailed it. File Western Addition in the latter category. Frail Bray continues their West Coast melodic hardcore tradition without any surprise changes-of-direction.

The band plays what used to be called “The Fat Sound,” but with a bit of a harder edge than some of their labelmates that helped coin that term. It takes an undeniable hardcore base with punchy rhythms and shouted choruses, but with melodic flow and guitar leads that soar more than they stomp. Jason Hall’s coarse delivery is part throat-shredding vitriol with just enough singsong flow to give it genuine flow. The dual guitar interplay of Ken Yamazaki and Tony Teixeira gives it depth and energy with subtle metallic flourishes that are concise enough to give bursts of energy without feeling self-absorbed or over the top.

Standouts this time around are “They Burned Our Paintings” and “Rose’s Hammer II,” both of which balance melody with raw emotion. Overall, Western Addiction plays hardcore with singalong moments that are somewhat masked by the harsh vocals and punchy hooks. Closing track “Deranged By Grief” pulls all those elements together with fiery gang vocals, charging riffs, and an impressive range of emotion and tempo for a three-minute hardcore song. “Lurchers” is a guitar track, peppered with metallic tinges and vocals that range from angry snarls to guttural growls. “Laurette” is a circle pit rager. Then, in “Wildflowers of Italy,” a midtempo chugger, Western Addiction showcases their melodic side while calling for positivity and hope against a culture that seems hellbent on highlighting the negative.

The press sheet on this record concludes on the term “bright hardcore,” and it’s a great descriptor. This is loud, fast and angry. But there’s a hopeful tone within that shines light on a more hopeful message.

7.5 / 10Loren
NIVA - Save Our Stages banner
Leave a comment

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews Western Addiction

Posted May 3, 2020, 12:33 p.m.
What's That Noise?

Western Addiction SPB: Was the mic’ing of your kit in the studio for Frail Bray fairly straight-forward, or were there some things you and ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Western Addiction

Western Addiction


7.3 / 10 Western Addiction - Tremulous album cover

Has it really been 12 years since Cognicide? Well, Western Addiction are back with another single word, make-you-think album title in Tremulous. They may have skipped releasing records for the ...

Related news

Records Western Addiction return with new album

Posted March 21, 2020, 10:20 a.m.

In a week that could use some good news, Western Addiction has announced an upcoming album. Due on May 15 and titled Frail Bray, the new record will be third ...

Records Western Addiction to release Temulous

Posted Dec. 30, 2016, 7:40 a.m.

On March 3 Fat Wreck Chords will release the new Tremulous album from Western Addiction with 11 new songs from the San Francisco band. Check out a track listing after ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.