Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Written by: PP on 24/12/2016 13:30:13
Expire continue their relentless rise to hardcore royalty with a sublime third full-length “With Regret”, that picks up exactly where brilliant sophomore album “Pretty Low” left off two years ago. The latter was one of the best hardcore albums of 2014, and the new album makes a convincing case of belonging right up there with the heavyweights with an absolutely ferocious, menacing take on hardcore that leaves the testosterone levels of the likes of Terror and Trapped Under Ice sounding mild in comparison. In fact, if it wasn’t for their untimely decision to disband following the release of this album and a few final tours, all signs were pointing at Expire becoming one of the most important hardcore bands of the new generation, following exactly in the footsteps of Terror into becoming a global force to be reckoned with.
So what makes Expire so special? After all, their basic ingredients do not differ much from the recipes offered by Have Heart, Trapped Under Ice, Terror or other similar hardcore bands. Down-tuned riffs, barked vocals, plenty of two-step friendly mosh sections, camo-shorts friendly attitude, etc. Not exactly much variety - at least on paper. On record, the opposite holds true. Not only are all Expire songs characterized by unadulterated ferocity and powder-keg style explosive delivery, but their songwriting capacity far surpasses your average hardcore band. The riffs twist and turn at unpredictable moments, utilizing well-placed grooves to create variety, which ultimately leads into an exceptionally powerful instrumental landscape. The vocals, while exclusively delivered with piercing yells and barks, also use unusual patterns for hardcore. Stop/start rhythms and high-energy segments of unadulterated levels of passion and testosterone likewise create a sense of variety that’s often missing on other hardcore records. Tracks like “Fighting The Slip” sound ripped as they tear through the gates with relentless anger, whilst in the other end “Medicine” shows how you don’t have to compromise on down-tuned hardcore in order to produce a catchy song overall.
Most of all, the whole package is fully encompassed in the kind of urgency and immediacy that sounds like it’s about to burst at its seams any moment now. The level of intensity is unmatched on other hardcore albums this year, and when you couple that with an ability to write memorable songs that nonetheless stay true to the very foundations of hardcore, you are exactly where you want to be as a hardcore band. “With Regret” is, therefore, a perfectly appropriate title because it is with regret we are accepting Expire’s exit from the scene. Here’s to hoping they will return, and if not, the three albums they released leave behind a legacy to be proud of. Future hardcore classics, that’s for sure. “United by fear, divided by faith.” - truer words for our time have never been spoken.
Download: Medicine, Fighting The Slip, Regret, Fair Weather Friend
For the fans of: Trapped Under Ice, Knocked Loose, Have Heart, Backtrack, Terror
Release date 23.09.2016
Bridge 9 Records