Album Review: Out Cold A.D. - 'This Is Survival'

16 July 2012 | 6:57 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Solid hardcore up and comers.

If the broken glass sound at the beginning of Out Cold A.D.'s new record 'This Is Survival' tells you anything, it's what the band plan to do to your brain over the next twenty-three minutes. The New Zealanders have scored a little bit more interest of late thanks to their inclusion on the Pee Records International five way split CD, and have followed that release up with their debut full length.

The message the record sends is fairly clear, you come here for blistering, fairly stock standard, that is delivered with emotion and nothing else. That is to say that every single element of the band, be it the head ripping vocals or even simply the bass line, is giving one hundred per cent the whole time.

The opening one-two punch of Survival and You Don't Fool Me, present the group as a tight unit offering a relentless assault, mainly driven by the drum and vocal lines, with the guitars providing chaos on the sides. The band offer hints that there could be something more than just balls to the wall hardcore in their veins, as the electronic outro to Modern Day Strain briefly suggests, but considering the fact this idea is not expanded on throughout the est of the record, this section seems tacked on at best.

The pace change of the brief I Hope to The Blind Leading The Blind is a good example of how well this record flows, the tracks can almost be viewed as one long strain of hardcore, only separated for easy navigation. The recording quality and all-round sound of the album is far more refined than the band's spilt appearance and preceding EP, managing to capture the group's grit in a clear and precise way, a tricky thing to do when dealing with this genre.

12:51 is a stand out, starting softly to the questionable backing of rain, then exploding into a punchy, driving number which has the band performing at their tightest. The record ends with the quick punk blast of Constant Fight and Aftermath, an instrumental which not only ends the record brilliantly, but comes as a little bit of a surprise, almost like a statement saying that hardcore can be more than, well, hardcore.

Without knowing much about the New Zealand hardcore scene, it is safe to say that if Out Cold A.D.'s 'This Is Survival' is anything to go by, Australian hardcore may have something worthy of a rivalry.

1. Survival
2. You Don't Fool Me
3. Modern Day Strain
4. I Hope
5. The Blind Leading The Blind
6. 12:51
7. For Better Or Worse (And I'm Hoping The Worst)
8. Alcatraz
9. Constant Fight
10. Aftermath