Counterparts is a young rising band from Ontario, Canada. Their somewhat melodic approach to hardcore poses them against major bands such as August Burns Red, Close Your Eyes, and The Devil Wears Prada. Though they may not seem as complete in content as some of those bands, with The Current Will Carry Us being their first studio album, they sure have room to grow and find their niche.
The Current Will Carry Us doesn’t bring as much variety as you would expect from a rising hardcore band, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. There are some decently heavy tracks on the album, but most are fast paced guitar cluttered messes like MMVII and Optimist. Jumping Ship brings and even heavier and technical approach that I personally would like to see more of, but unfortunately that is the most of what we see of their heavy technical side. Pedestal brings a major scale into play making the song a more positive and happier feel, but busts back into thrashing guitars and drums. Probably their most stand out track would be Reflection. It’s a change of dynamic with a trippy reversed delay and a slower tempo, which was well needed.
Being their first album, I will cut them some slack. They definitely need to work on quite a few elements to make them stand out in their genre and not just blend in. First would be to work more on the guitars in production. They are messy and the show no detail other than cluttered fuzzy chords. And it kills me to say this, but they really could benefit from a big chunky breakdown; something slower, a little technical, a little groovy, and a lot of heaviness. It’s the breakdowns that make hardcore music what it is. It gets the teenagers hardcore dancing in the “mosh pits”.
As the album goes on, you can tell the band feels more and more comfortable in the studio. Finally, by the end Jesse Doreen and Alex Re incorporate clean guitars to change up the dynamics of the album, but it may be too little too late. There isn’t much flavor with their guitars in the rest of the album. They feel like one constant tone of fuzz. Bassist Eric Bazinet merely sits in the back and plays the rhythm. He may as well be playing behind the bass amp. Ryan Juntilla is on drums and he does a pretty good job keeping the beat. His fills are nice, his drum work is superb, but the rest of the band can’t really keep up with their parts.
Brendan Murphy is on vocals and his performance is pretty pure and raw. His vocal style can be compared to Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red. A raspy shouting but without any lows or highs. He delivers at one tone it seems. My main problem is that he doesn’t bring any contrast to the bands music. A good hardcore band should be able to get some fantastic screams/shouts and shining clean vocals at time for choruses. There is none of that with Murphy.
Counterparts does in fact need some work as a band, but as their first record goes, its not bad. It’s a solid, cohesive album that shows the potential talent for the rising Canadian band. The only way is up for these guys and I know that they will improve . They just have to work on a few elements and not just blend in with the rest of the hardcore acts out there.
The Current Will Carry Us – 6.5/10
1. I Am No One
2. The Disconnect
3. The Constant
6. Jumping Ship
8. Thank God
The Current Will Cary Us is available now via Victory Records