Hardcore these days sure ain’t what it used to be with a ton of bands playing something that apparently passes as hardcore these days. Maybe it would’ve sounded differently if they would spend less time in front of the mirror perfecting their hair or deciding which shirt best matches their skinny jeans. I’m probably just old and jaded because I don’t hear a lot of kids complaining about it. Probably because they are standing in front of the mirror and their closet as well instead of actually listening to the music.
Reason I’m saying this is because a lot of those crappy bands are signed to Victory Records. So it’s surprising to receive a hardcore album from that label that’s actually good. The band is called Counterparts and while they already pleasantly surprised me with 2011’s “The Difference Between Hell And Home”, the new album is even better, showcasing a band that has grown and obviously is very comfortable with what they are doing. That should be obvious when you hear the opening blast that is “Lost” but in case you’re slow, there are ten more tracks pick up on that. And when they introduce a pop-punk vibe in “Outlier”, they do it because it feels right. Not just because it’s what they do in every single song.
Even more ferocious than its predecessor with traces of melody in all the right places, “The Difference Between Hell And Home” is one long invitation to mosh. And what sets them even further apart from all the trendy hardcore bands is that I actually believe these guys.