TRC – Nation
Hardcore is a very broad genre these days and there are thousands of bands who all claim they have a hand in the evolution of said genre. A lot of the bands in today’s hardcore scene blend together in a whirlwind of fists and crust. Not saying that is a bad thing whatsoever because I love all of those bands but while Heartless and All Pigs Must Die are a clear evolution from the bands that came before them, there must be new bands expanding the genre and pushing it further. That’s where bands like TRC come in, straight from the UK underground.
TRC is not your average hardcore band for many reasons and they are a phenomenal hardcore band for the exact same reasons. First off, the vocal delivery by Chris Robson is something that you don’t hear every day in hardcore. It’s not a constant guttural shriek or even a raspy yell. Chris’ vocals are almost 100% British hip-hop and this element adds such a huge impact on the band as a whole. His delivery is spot on over and over. There are growls here and there throughout the album, but mostly just the smooth rapping styles of Robson.
Aside from the vocals, which drew me in right off the bat, the musical execution by TRC is spectacular. Heavy-hitting hardcore punk with tinges of metalcore topped with mind-numbing breakdowns build the bridge that Robson so masterfully spits his flow over. The driving riffs that Wilson and Dingwall blister out are something of beauty while the drumming is pulverizing through and through. It has been a long time since I heard something this unique and powerful from the hardcore scene. Sure, TRC aren’t the first band to merge hip-hop and hardcore, but they are doing it right now and it’s fantastic. #TeamUK
- Rating: A++
- Favorite track: “#TeamUK,” “We Bring War”
Balance And Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing
First impressions are a big thing in music. Sometimes a first impression can tell you that you will hate a bands album just from the opening seconds of an album. Other times, you get the exact opposite reaction. The latter reaction is the one I got from Balance And Composure’s sophomore album. This is my first foray into the band and right off they have impressed me beyond comprehension.
This band has a very smooth way of approaching their music. While it is heavy, it isn’t a punch in the face. I could easily compare Balance And Composure to bands like Thursday and Touche Amore, which really hits me in a sweet spot. Their songs are light and airy and I often find myself getting lost in their music. On the band’s latest record, they expel thirteen smoking tracks of smooth, elegant, emo-tinged punk n’ roll.
The Pennsylvanian quintet expertly choreographed each song to tell a specific story and that’s what they do. Every song is different in its craft and each one gives off a slightly different vibe than its predecessor, which is a great way to layer an album, keeping it solid and powerful. From start to finish, Balance And Composure keep your mind spinning with their fantastic record The Things We Think We’re Missing. There were many things I was missing in my life and this was one.
- Rating: A++
- Favorite track: “Lost Your Name”