WITH HONOR — This Is Our Revenge (review)

WITH HONOR — This Is Our Revenge album cover Album · 2005 · Hardcore Punk Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Vim Fuego
Dismissing With Honor as just another straight edge hardcore band would be a mistake. Their sound is straight from the old school and their message takes precedence over image. Besides, there's very little on `This Is Our Revenge' which could be considered typical straight edge anyway.

Musically, there's nothing here which hasn't been done thousands of times before, but damn it, these guys are tight, and well-performed hardcore is as powerful now as it has ever been. The band aren't afraid to experiment a little either, something which doesn't often happen in this genre. The guitars on "Bottoms Up" have an almost metal tuning, and the song is reminiscent of Poison Idea. Furthermore, the acoustic introduction to "You Always Said" is a nice touch of subtlety.

Vocalist Todd Mackey is turbo charged fury personified but he does have a few variations he can pull out. He's not just a one-dimensional shouter, actually being able to hold a tune or lighten the mood when needed, and he performs a moody spoken section on "Plot Two" to great effect. "20 Strong", a lighthearted song about touring, is more tuneful, sung in almost a So-Cal punk vein. Almost...

The lyrics are quite a change from the genre's norm, for once not targetting the "evils" of drugs, drink and meat, or wittering on about unity and "the scene". Mackey's message seems to be about how modern life is detached from reality, with messed up priorities making people more concerned with the trivial than the important, but the lyrics are such that the ultimate interpretation is up to the listener.

This isn't going to be to everyone's liking, but it's not meant to be. Bands like this make music for themselves and their close-knit fans without compromise, and if you don't like it, that's your problem.
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