Change Today – The Survival

  • Keith Rosson posted
  • Reviews

Change Today

The Survival - Hotfoot Records

When it comes to hardcore, “competent” should be considered an insult.

Competent is boring. Competent is passable. Ordinary. Forgettable.

Unfortunately, Change Today is a competent hardcore band.

The Survival is rife with flawless production, rivet-tight musicianship (the palm mutes and accompanying double bass in “Flawless” are particularly impressive), requisite gang shouts and a vocalist with an appropriately ragged set of pipes on him. It’s the band’s debut release, and it’s a good enough outing. Everyone’s certainly carrying their own weight, the songs don’t drag and the band manages to merge traditional elements of hardcore with metallic guitar tones and drawn-out, punishing rhythms. The pacing of the EP is solid and reads like a good book – there’s few moments where the songs actually drag.

But that’s about it. It’s good stuff, but not great. It’s heartfelt and passionate and yet somehow just a tad too run-of-the-mill to lurch out and grab you, you know? They come closest to breaking through that barrier of mediocrity in “Gathered Ashes”, the final of these six songs. It’s reminiscent of those howling, heart-busted jaw-droppers that dudes like Have Heart seem to throw out so easily, and indicates that with some more time together, these guys could definitely be onto something decidedly less ordinary.

And that’s going to be the band’s biggest hurdle – so much of what they’re doing comes across as nothing more than just a smidge better than mundane. From the cruddy band name to the tattoo flash artwork and generic lyrics (sorry, dude), their biggest challenge is going to be separating themselves from the glut of hardcore bands that are doing this exact same thing. Their musicianship shows they’re capable of it, and again, a song like “Gathered Ashes” shows that they’ve got the ability to work together to craft some enthrallingly emotional and searing tunes.

Let’s just hope they’re more consistent next time around. If they are, I’ll be the first one to champion these guys. As it stands, there’s still got some ground to cover.