Beggars EP

Written by: DR on 24/08/2011 15:59:31

Hardcore and/or punk releases are usually left to PP, but it can be refreshing to review records outside of your comfort zone, so I opted to take the latest release from Chicago outfit Beggars. And now, feeling like I have fully digested what it has to offer, I am glad I did so.

This four-song self-titled EP is a fairly typical hardcore record, and it sounds as you would expect it to given how this band are still relatively young, and given their relatively small stature. So, they adopt the lo-fi production route, almost sounding as if it were recorded in their friend's garage, but I suspect that's more of a deliberate aesthetic choice because it gives the band the chance to sound unhinged, and it offers the listener a chance to hear what a Beggars live-show would be like, free from the constraints of actual, polished production. You could summarise this band, vocally, lyrically and instrumentally, as being engaging and effective but without being anything new, creative or especially spectacular. Not that fans of hardcore will mind; the vocals are sheer passion and obviously the focal-point of this band's sound given how they are so far forward in the mix, spitting out cathartic lyrics inspired by their relationships (or lack thereof) with the people around them. The two shortest efforts, "Forward" and "Wasted", both clock in at around two-minutes, and are also the two strongest efforts on this EP because of how they have been constructed to be deliberately short, and therefore played super-aggressively. The reverse of this is the longest song and disappointing closer, "Mouthful", as it wastes too much time with uninspired instrumental build-ups and is played at a slower tempo, seemingly attempting to be a more 'melodic' offering, but it's not what this band are best at.

"Beggars" is a very solid hardcore release by a band who clearly know how to write a decent song. However, I can't help but escape the suspicion this kind of music is designed more for the live setting than it is for record, at least in this lo-fi form. It's too poorly finished off to truly capture the intensity of this band, but maybe, by not being a hardcore-phile, I am missing out on something? Whatever the case, from me this gets a grade that is an indicator of potential being there, but the band are not there yet. A well-deserved:

Download: Forward, Wasted
For The Fans of: Defeater, Caravels, hardcore
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 16.07.2011
Chorus Of One Records

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