I’ll start by saying this, let’s make something very clear before this review starts because it is a very important thing to know. I can’t stand nearly 95% of hardcore these days for a couple reasons. I feel as that bands who wanna be labeled as “hardcore” just wanna be some “hard-asses” who wanna act tough because they play music. Another, I feel that hardcore has lost it’s roots altogether, period. I do have a reason for telling you why I discard hardcore these days and my reason is simply one word: Havenside. Ex-Lionheart bassist, Brandon Wells, started this project around ’06 or so and he hasn’t looked back. Bringing a powerful squad along for the ride, this 5-piece hardcore hurricane is not one to mess with by no means. All the way from Sacramento, Cali-forn-i-a, say hello to a band you’ll be hearing a ton from in the next couple of months to a year, Havenside.
Right off the bat, any intro that is almost 2 minutes long, count me the fuck in. Another little fun fact about this album is that they never leave you hungry for more. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so because every time I listen to this record, by the end of it, I’m completely full and ready to just lay back and sleep like a fat, fat man on Thanksgiving. Blistering double-pedals hit you pretty heavy from the start of “Ignorance”, also with a slew of breakdowns that will pretty much wake you right the fuck up if you’re tired at all. If I had to pick three words to describe this album, I’d have to go with hatred, disgust and just good ol’ plain murderous. With tracks like “Hand of Hate”, “What We Live For”, which Mike Hood of Hoods does guest vocal spot on, and “The Closed Minded”, you can feel the hatred in these tracks, you can feel how fucking fed up this whole band is with everything around them. On the other hand though, “Interlude” is a little change of pace from the rest of the album, just enough to bring you back to the ground floor, right before it shoots you to the top of the building again.
This album has me thinking of a couple of hardcore bands I’ve been digging for a couple years actually, Call To Preserve seems to fit the bill fairly well and a little bit of First Blood with a small teaspoon of early Stick To Your Guns. Call me out if those are horrible examples but it’s just what I’m hearing, to each their own. By the way, I’m still listening to this record while I write this so don’t think I’m not, it’s not that easy to put down, okay? I’ve also came to the conclusion that if these dudes release another album as godly as this son of a bitch, I’ll be the first in line to get my copy. So, me being the huge fucking idiot I am, I didn’t even realize until my second listen through that Rob McCarthy of Lionheart did guest vocals on the track “Still Eyes”. Let’s be honest though, the song would of been just fine without them, although they did put a nice touch to the end of the album. You just can’t go wrong with an angry as fuck record like this and if you people don’t check this band out, book them for the summer/winter then we might have to submit you to a crazy hospital, that simple.
As I said at the start, I’m not too thrilled about the direction hardcore is going but if Havenside is leading the way, I’m all aboard with guns blazing because this album is nothing but a goddamn terror of hatred, which is a great thing, by the way. The new record is currently being written as of May 18th, 2011, hopefully we get something within the next year or so but I’m not worried since this record is more than enough to hold me over until then. As always, check out the links below for anything and everything Havenside. Support these dudes because they are really bringing it heavy as shit. One last thing: YOU BETTER COME CORRECT BEFORE YOU SPIT THAT SHIT!