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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The longer the name, the better the band?

Hello there, you hopefully soon-to-be-faithful readers.

As any fan of the genre knows, hardcore music has been flailing about terribly for the past 5 or so years. It's been gaining awkward followings and been putting out even more awkward music. When the local Abercrombie and Fitch poster child starts wearing an overpriced From Autumn to Ashes t-shirt under her even more overpriced hoodie, you know something started going wrong with the genre. Not to say I don't want music to be widespread, oh no. Far from it. I just wish that GOOD music would be widespread.

Which brings me to this review of a little ol' EP from an oft unheard of band. Please Inform the Captain this is a Hijack(who shall now be referred to as PITCTIAH) was a band I, admittedly, started listening to on the basis of the name alone. Something so quirky just HAD to be good, right? Well, in this instance, yes!

The self-titled EP is only six songs long, but each is good enough that you'll want to listen to at least 4 or five of them on repeat. The band is an underground powerhouse consisting of people from bands like Former Members of Alfonsin, Dirty Dirt and the Dirts, Torches to Rome and Fuel. The music harkens back to the golden days of old school(hate that term...) hardcore, with one guitar pounding out gain-filled chords and the lead guitarist following along with impressive licks. Still, the drums and bass on some songs provide an almost dance worthy rhythm that, while a stark contrast with the guitars, somehow blends and fits perfectly along.

The biggest note of the band, though, is the sampling. Every song begins with several spliced together samples, providing an interesting border to the music itself. Everyone from Richard Nixon to the Great Goblin from the Hobbit movie is used in the merging and mixing of sampled quotes and music.

The first track on the EP, "Your good thing is about to come to an end", starts off with an intro to the band itself. Spliced together bits and pieces of what sound like old instructional videos(and a 70's funk band?) repeat "Please inform the captain this is a hijack!" twice before slowly melting into the sliding guitar and whiny feedback of the song. While this is my least favourite song on the EP, it's still a solid track and showcases the talents of two of the singers. A more muted first singer who sticks to lows, and an insanely high-pitched second singer who more resembles a child going through another stage of puberty. But hey, it works, and it works extremely well.

The rest of the album follows this formula. The two singers duel back and forth over the energetic and frantic music, leading up to a slow breakdown and an ending that usually has all the crash cymbals on the drum set ringing and all the band members singing at the same time, giving it the feel that it would have been one hell of a live show.

One track of note, and my personal favourite, is "Postcards from the Future". The song has one singer who hadn't taken the forefront for the rest of the album covering the entire track with his raspy, powerful vocals. The music itself is different from the rest of the album too, taking a less complicated approach to hardcore and sticking with octaves for the entirety of the verse. The song, lamenting the garbage that is fed to people as entertainment is the best one in terms of music and energy, especially when the ending hits and it almost reaches anthem status. "Broken children, it's not too late, the future is unwritten..."

All in all, it's a great album and worth searching for. It can't really be bought anymore, as there were very limited pressings, but the songs can be found on almost any p2p network, and hell, I'll even send them as a zip file if you'd like.

And away I go.

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