Retox

Beneath California

Written by: PP on 09/03/2015 22:25:12

Two years ago, Retox released a bombastic sophomore album in "YPLL" that pushed hardcore as a genre in all sorts of directions you wouldn't initially believe possible or at least had forgotten existed since Refused haven't exactly been active in the new music department lately. This approach largely continues with "Beneath California", on which Retox and The Locust frontman Justin Pearson & co deliver a dozen, mostly two minutes or under bursts of explosive experimental hardcore that draws as much from mathcore as it does from the pioneering innovative hardcore sound of Refused throughout their career.

Through a piercing yell and unpredictable instrumental patterns adding texture, Retox deliver expression that's far less concerned with conventional songwriting than it is in capturing a feeling. A manic vocal performance has been captured on record here, which feels both real and relatable as a live experience despite having crisp production. Another band known for equal amounts of experimental chaos was Since By Man on their forgotten gem "Pictures From The Hotel Apocalypse", where math rock tendencies combined with hardcore fury and a cherish of experimental flavor in a perfect balance between structure and unpredictable moments. Similar ideas are at play here, take "Disappointing Grade" or the ultra-aggressive "We Know Who's The Prick" on example, though with less memorable riffs and overall expression.

Basically, Retox are extremely good at capturing the spirit of hardcore and the uncompromising nature of the genre without having to resort to breakdowns or two-step friendly rhythms. But at the same time their songs essentially amount to not much more than brief bursts of energy unleashed through your speakers. It's another story in a live environment, but like so many other bands trying to relive their live energy in the studio, good songwriting is forgotten in the process. The result is a bunch of weirdo hardcore tracks twisting and spinning in all directions whilst Pearson yells his lungs broken over math-influenced instrumentation, which is interesting for a bit, but not enough to keep you intrigued in the long term.

Download: We Know Who's The Prick, Disappointing Grade, Let's Not Keep In Touch
For the fans of: Refused, Since By Man, The Locust
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.02.2015
Epitaph

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