Release DetailsLABEL Lifeforce Records
RELEASED ON 5/2/2006
The Time Is Now
posted on 6/2006 By:
Endstand is a long running Finnish punk/hardcore band with several releases under their belt but I believe this is the first to get widespread distribution in the US. From what little I could gather about their past releases, this band seems to oscillate between outright melodic punk and a meaner, metallic sound depending on the release. The Time Is Now falls somewhere in between. The guitar tone is certainly more metallic than a typical hardcore band but there’s also a ton of melody and very few moments that would qualify as breakdowns, especially in the American metalcore sense of the word, so they don’t really fit the metalcore label either.
Most of their songs fall into a mix of straight ahead hardcore punctuated with dark, riff based post hardcore passages. At times it sounds like a more expansive, more metallic version of some of the newer Bane material. It’s not traveling very fast but it has an undeniable appeal in the off kilter tempo changes and tense, dark melodies that open up into crashing choruses that seem to be this band's version of a breakdown.
What’s frustrating though is the melodic elements are delivered almost exclusively through the use of a harmonic bar chord following the main rhythm guitar - aka the “West Coast Whistler” - popularized by California hardcore bands like Good Riddance and Strung Out. This is used in some fashion on pretty much every song, slow or fast, rain or shine. While I admit it’s an effective way to dress up a standard punk chord progression, its flagrant overuse starts to wear a little thin after the first few songs. In fact, this goes for most of their songwriting style. They tend to put their best foot forward early and often so by the middle of the album you start to lose interest.
Like most Finnish bands the vocals are in English but are only decipherable about 20% of the time, if that. They’re pretty passionately delivered with a nice, raspy high end to them but I just can’t figure out what he’s singing. Usually this doesn’t matter much but punk rockers fancy themselves as delivering “messages” we need to hear and although it’s loud, it’s not clear.
This release is interesting in the fact they’re playing something you don’t hear every day but ultimately I couldn’t get past the “me too” sound of many of the songs. There are some strong cuts that stick in your head, particularly when they hit a particularly effective melody, but the bulk of the material sort of washes by with a frustrating sameness.
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