Smile Now, Cry Later

Written by: PP on 05/01/2012 01:40:36

Alcatraz are a hardcore band from the bay area scene, featuring current and ex-members of First Blood, Set Your Goals, and Breaker among a few other lesser known bands. Their debut album "Smile Now, Cry Later" (and its accompanying 6 track demo EP) is a typical example of the simplest brand of hardcore. It features no experimental nuances like Pulling Teeth, no metallic edge like many of the borderline metalcore bands stateside, no melodic gang shouts like Wisdom In Chains and rest of the European hardcore crew. Just straight-forward, down-tuned chugging in the vein of Terror delivered with the gas pedal solidly glued to the floor.

When reduced to its bare essentials, hardcore can also be good as Terror show time and time again through a frantic live show that's all about fist-pumping and two-stepping your way through the day. But just like Terror on record, Alcatraz have a difficult time in conveying convincing energy on record through other means than barked/yelled vocals and a high tempo overall. Even if you like this stuff, all their songs sound almost identical to each other with only variance found in the lyrical department, pretty much. Even here, Alcatraz belong to the Serious Fucking Business (tm) club of hardcore bands, who are all in need of a serious kick in the ass for a wake up call that world is not a dark, miserable place deserving a million fuck yous, and life isn't all about hopeless struggle against 'the system' and whatever else they are raging on about.

But in effect, "Smile Now, Cry Later" is just something Alcatraz needed to put out so their fans would be familiar with the songs in a live environment. It's very clearly written with the intimate club venues in mind where the band can freely unleash their live energy, and I have no doubt they are a good live band. On record, however, they are merely an average to decent hardcore band that sounds identical to Terror, like a dozen other bands just like them.

Download: Get Fucked, Fuck Off And Die
For the fans of: Terror, Final Prayer, Lionheart, Madball
Listen: Myspace

Release date 11.11.2011
Demons Run Amok

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