Release DetailsLABEL Halo Of Flies
RELEASED ON 12/14/2012
"...an enjoyable slice of hardcore for those on the lookout for more crusty d-beat-driven punk."
Halo Of Flies originally released this 12” EP from Milwaukee’s Protestant back in September, but that limited run of less than 600 is sold out now, so they’re bringing Reclamation back around once more, and again in small-batch fashion. Reclamation is only five songs, spanning twenty minutes total in length, and it’s an enjoyable slice of hardcore for those on the lookout for more crusty d-beat-driven punk.
Protestant’s brand of hardcore is on the more melodic end of the crusty spectrum, very much reminiscent of Nashville-to-Portland outfit From Ashes Rise. The magic lies in the juxtaposition of crust-toned crashing power chords against those melodies (occasionally chiming and just as often embedded neatly and subtly in the anger surrounding), in the spaces between pounding drums and harsh vocals and the hooky guitar lines that poke out from the chaos. And it's in that magic that Protestant creates an ebb-and-flow sometimes lacking from the more perpetually aggressive side of hardcore, though their mix of those elements is hardly a unique one. (See the above From Ashes Rise reference.) Still, it’s well enacted, if neither wickedly original nor as punishing as many of their peers, and either way, these five tunes certainly each exhibit enough fire and flair to keep the listener entertained for the EP’s short run-time.
Opening number “Home” effectively encapsulates the band’s approach – a d-beat-laden introduction, followed by a softer clean-guitar breakdown and then a crushing mid-tempo closing with a vocal-and-riff combination that is custom-made for shout-along, fist-in-the-air headbanging and circle-stomping mosh pits. From there, Reclamation settles into a solid groove –second track “Jan Palach” is named after the Czech student activist who publicly self-immolated in the 1960s, and it largely follows the precedent set by “Home,” while the follow-up title track reverses the formula, opening melodically and picking up from there. The band mixes and matches its basic blocks across all these tunes, but never feels as though it's repeating itself, merely expounding upon a theme.
Protestant isn’t rewriting any rulebooks, but they’re good at what they do. If the Great Flood Of Southern Lord Crust Punk hasn’t completely over-satisfied your lust for dark and semi-dirty-ish hardcore, then here’s a band as-yet-overlooked by that label, a band that at least eschews full-on tar-coated thick-toned Swedeath-leaning heaviness in favor of a more dynamic and accessible blend of the ugly and the epic, and to quite positive results. If melodic crust interests you, claim Reclamation in this go-round whilst you can.