Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Backtrack - Deal with the Devil

This is one of those records where you can immediately envision what the live performance should be like within the first 10 seconds. The lights dim as the crowd begins to move side to side, feverishly awaiting the band's first song. Backtrack sets it off with no nonsense, straight forward hardcore.
Heavy New York hardcore influences run deep through this six song EP, as the band rips through each song with hard guitars and heavy melodies. While the first song maintains a fairly slow pace, the rhythms are infectious, capable of lighting off a crowd like a match to a stick of dynamite. The second and third songs up the pace and energy of the album, each with their own breakdowns mid-way through the song.
The second side of the EP contains the quintessential hardcore "intro" instrumental that many people are familiar with. While these are always fun, I wouldn't consider it one of the high points to the record.
The title song "Deal with the Devil" gets things back on track (ha). This features a great sing-a-long moment which flows seamlessly into a short breakdown, then back into the chorus. The song finishes with a deliberate, pounding closing, sure to set the local kids off at a show.
Lyrically, the record deals with some typical hardcore topics like perseverance, rising above setbacks, and problems in life that can bring us down. Betrayal and mistrust also play a part in the opening song "Retrace the Lines": "Misled into a trap and now I'm turning my back/I try to keep my faith but how much more can I take?"
The EP is available from 6131 records. Check it out, 2 vinyl colors were available for preorders, but they're probably down to one by now. Also be sure to check their show listings to catch them in your area live.