Next weekend Californian institution New Age Records celebrates thirty years of putting out some of the finest straight edge hardcore with a three day festival. With a line-up that celebrates not only the labels illustrious past (Strife, Chorus, Mouthpiece etc) but also its current roster (Drug Control, Restraining Order) and it is in the latter group that we find Cutting Through from Portland Oregon. Comprised of ex members from bands like Get The Most, Blue Monday and other early noughties Pacific North West favourites, the Empathy 7” is a lot more straightforward than any of the members previous endeavours.
The opening track Internal Fight reminds me in equal measure of the first Count Me Out 7” mixed with the bombastic dynamics of the last Ten Yard Fight 7”. The fast breaks crackle with frantic energy before slamming into the half time breakdowns. The rest of the 7” unfolds in similar fashion. It’s a tried and tested formula that straight edge bands of this ilk have been milking since 1986 and if it ain’t broke why fucking fix it, right? And whilst Cutting Through could not be accused of breaking any new ground with this release I’ll bet the guys in the band are having an absolute blast ripping these songs out live because this feels very genuine and sincere. It’s like a musical comfort blanket for people who enjoy sensible haircuts, an apple a day and Champion athletic wear. Good shit. Nathan Bean
Order Empathy here