If there’s anything to be said, it’s that the Chicago hardcore scene is one of strength, progress, and growth. Off the bat, some of my favorite bands hail from Chicago: Weekend Nachos, Spine, Harm’s Way and now…Bitter Thoughts. While the band’s sophomore demo has been lying in wait in my music library for about a couple months, the moment I listened to the demo,I realized that I had not only opened one can of whoop-ass, but a whole pack.
The demo kicks off with “Solitary”, which opens up with a grooving crunching absolutely massive bassline before the whole ensemble joins in. From there, the 2:39 track showcases the absolute best elements of the band: moshing riffs that maintain variation and technicality, flowing and aggressive lyrical delivery, devastating drums and basswork that goes beyond complementing the guitars. Bearing the most speed and aggression, “Solitary” ended up being my favorite track, a nice contrast to the second track “Sink”. Starting off with some war drum-esque beats surrounded by gang-vocals, “Sink” takes awhile(in hardcore time) before settling into a steady beat. Reaching its apex with a killer breakdown, the track literally gives a feeling of sinking as the riffs pile on and on into an almost sludgelike level of speed. Closing up, “Living and Loathing” brings the band back up to speed. Featuring a mid-tempo rhythm complimented by almost rap-like vocal deliveries, “Living…” picks up speed as it nears its climax which sees the band varying between staccato like riffing styles and the usual thrash-like hardcore chords before returning to the initial opening riff for a breakdown as closure.
Overall, Bitter Thoughts have released one hell of a demo that certainly goes beyond and fulfills what I take from hardcore. Bitter Thoughts’s sophomore demo gets a nine out of ten coffins. Stream and download the free demo below.