Saturday, September 12, 2015

Defeater - 2015 - Abandoned

Defeater is a five piece hardcore punk band from Boston, Massachusets. Abandoned is their fourth LP and their first since moving from Bridge 9 to Epitaph Records. Not only do Defeater make awesome, hard hitting and progressive hardcore records each one is a concept album dedicated to telling the story of one family in post WWII New Jersey. Abandoned is the first album to step outside of that structure, expanding on the story The Priest, introduced in Cowardice from Travels. Lyrically this album follows The Priest as he loses his faith through the chaos and destruction of World War II. Instrumentally it is more of the pounding, heavy hardcore punk rock Defeater has come to be known for but opens up some with elements of post-rock.

 Borrowed & Blue is the most obvious example of this, clean vocals and not quite so distorted guitars allow the song to stretch out beyond the confines of hardcore punk. Remorse is heading towards a Pianos Become The Teeth sound, the agony and pain of hardcore given more room to breathe and stretch and Atonement starts with a moment of instrumental beauty or at least calm contrasted with Derek's hoarse shout before devolving into waves of noise before kicking back into gear and hurtling  the band towards the outro. For the most part this LP musically is straight ahead hardcore punk and it would be easy to dismiss the glimpses and moments of calm almost beauty that exist within the hard hitting chaos but it is there. Defeater make great use of having two guitarists to create a beguiling web of complex and expanding sound. If you're looking for some compelling hardcore that is rooted in the traditional sound but unafraid of expanding, Defeater's Abandoned will serve well.