Your Demise

The Golden Age

Written by: PP on 12/05/2012 16:32:28

Reviewing polarizing albums is always an interesting exercise, and it doesn't get much more polarizing than the fourth Your Demise album "The Golden Age". After all, this is a band that has been championed as the leaders of the burgeoning UK hardcore scene, the one band you could always trust for a good two-step friendly, dynamic hardcore song full of one liners and power messages when others would fail. Keeping that context in mind, "The Golden Age" feels like a smack in the face for any tr00 hardcore fan given its departure from the down-tuned hardcore riffs into a territory that's more familiar with mainstream skate punk bands like The Offspring and Pennywise. It's represents the perfect example of a shattered dream for a legion of one-dimensional fans who refuse to expand their boundaries beyond the tight confines of the hardcore genre. Looking from the outside as neither a fan or a critic of the band in general, the resulting aftermath in comments across other magazines, YouTube, etc is fairly hilarious with "RIP Your Demise" being a good generalization of the content alongside with unfiltered anger at the band daring to progress/evolve/regress (depending on who you ask) out of the hardcore punk mould of their previous albums.

That being said, "The Kids We Used To Be" from two years ago already featured a few tracks where clean vocal choruses were in prominence (though admittedly rough and raw in comparison to this album), so that they are being further integrated into the Your Demise sound should come as a surprise to no-one really. However, I don't think anyone anticipated the band would go as far as track two "These Lights", for instance, which sounds like a mid 90s era The Offspring. And this song coming immediately after defiant "YOUR DEMISEEEE" screams during opening track "The Golden Age". The track is actually sandwiched between two mosh friendly hardcore tracks featuring the trademark piercing screams and yells of vocalist Ed McRae ("Born A Snake" being the third track), where their down-tuned and distorted riffs, although still melodic, draw extensively from the Comeback Kid back catalogue as they have done in the past, too.

And then there's "Paper Trail", which tries to mix the two approaches together by featuring a distinctly hardcore style riff, but one that quickly breaks into clean vocal verses, and as the biggest offence of them all, brings in Dannika Webber of Evarose for a guest chorus in the end in a passage that would be more suitable for a Paramore album than on a Your Demise record. Talk about spitting in the eye of their loyal fan base, who probably won't appreciate "Never A Dull Moment" either considering it's more like an easycore / pop-hardcore track in the vein of Set Your Goals. Interesting.

It seems though that after each one of these perceivably softer tracks the band is adamant to prove to their older fans that there's still something to come after with tight, even brutal two-step rhythms as compensation, such as "Forget About Me", which features David Wood of Terror on guest vocals". To me that signals that the band are perfectly aware they are treading on thin ice here so they need proceed with caution. I'm just not sure the caution is enough to salvage them from the hatred of a certain section of their fan base.

Fortunately Your Demise will likely see a net gain of fans after the dust settles. The vastly expanded and more poppy sound is capable of pushing the band to the next level in their career, even if it means losing a few of the hardened hardcore veterans in the process. In the end we need to look at "The Golden Age" from two perspectives: one, is it a good hardcore album? It's increasingly hard to argue that it is because it's sure to leave a wealth of fans disappointed after the excellent "The Kids We Used To Be" and records before that one. But as a heavy, more rock/punk oriented record? It's fairly decent, however, the overproduction leaves the sound way too polished in places for it to sound as real and honest as their previous output.

7

Download: These Lights, The Golden Age, Forget About Me
For the fans of: The Offspring & Pennywise gone hardcore, Comeback Kid, Bane
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.03.2012
Visible Noise Records

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