Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Rival Mob - Hardcore for Hardcore Promo Tape

I picked this gem up a couple weeks ago when The Rival Mob played in Philly and finally found the time to listen to it recently. I've yet to dislike anything these dudes from Boston have put out, and this really picks right up where Raw Life left off. It has a slightly "cut and paste" feel to it, ending up with mixtape-like qualities, which is a pretty cool concept. Only one of the four songs on the tape will be on the upcoming EP, but this is still a fun listen.

The opening track immediately gives everyone what they've been waiting for; the title track Hardcore for Hardcore for the EP due out eventually on Six Feet Under Records. Straight forward hardcore punk, with their recognizable mid-tempo breakdowns and shouting vocals gave me pleasant flashbacks of their demo. This is almost a bit harder than some of the songs on Raw Life, with fast riffs and gang vocals booming "Hardcore! For! Hardcore!" The Rival Mob poses a challenge in this song to all the real hardcore bands and supporters while showing their apparent contempt for the fakers.

A great cover breaks next; "Positive Scene" by Crippled Youth, played in all its thrashy, mid-80s hardcore posi-core glory. As the tape insert says, "if you don't know what's up with it then you can go kill yourself." Or go find it online somewhere, that's probably easier.

"Mind Closed for Life 2010" is a newer version of the same track off the demo, but with a keyboard and synth twist. The whole thing sounds somewhat ludicrous, with the same punky riffs but someone jamming out Billy Joel-style over it. Synthesizer-driven horns also rage along with the rest of the band, creating a pretty weird, yet funny version of the song.

The tape finishes off with a live recording of Pearl Jam's "Better Man," done on Boston's WERS in the winter of 2009. Another random choice, but this is actually pretty decent, although I don't think the vocals quite live up to Eddie Vedder's standards. At least they didn't try to turn it into some lame hardcore version that sounds like it belongs on Punk Goes Pop Vol. 12.

For a promo tape, this definitely worth a listen, while it's not the greatest tape I've heard this year. It definitely achieves what it intends though, as my anticipation for the new record is even higher after a couple times through. These are long sold out but there's probably somewhere to download it online, or you can try your luck on eBay and spend some of that tax return.

The Rival Mob Myspace
Six Feet Under Records