Defeater
Travels

First off, I’m generally not a writer who spends half the review on an albums packaging or artwork, but Defeater’s Travel’s and its multi panel, digipack gatefold packaging emblazoned with no frills, grainy and real, black and white photos is simply superb and a welcome change to the usual over the top colors of the urban graffiti meets Gothic typeset affair.

The music contained within the artwork, while not as creative within the confines of its chosen genre, is some very solid melodic, passionate hardcore in the vein of Verse, Have Heart, Killing the Dream, Dead Hearts, Passion etc. Driving, emotional, harmonic yet urgent and uplifting, 10 of the album’s 11 tracks are short sharp bursts that get to the point with an elegant mix of fierce, shimmering melody lines and traditional but jangly power chords (standouts “The City By Dawn”, “Carrying Weight” and “Debts” perfectly capture the mix) all laced with Derek Archambault’s mix of pained screams and semi spoken shouts with a prose that reminds me of Bane’s Aaron Bedard.

A few moments of introspection litter the fray such as the last few moments of “Forgiver, Forgetter”, the steady but menacing gait that fills the first half of “The Prophet in Plain Clothes” (I could have done without the Subway performer acoustic second half) and , the album’s stunning last track, the six minute “Cowardice” which drips with contempt and anguish; it broods and builds in direct contrast to the rest of the album’s generally high octane delivery and will probably be one of my favorite hardcore songs of the year.

Travels is not going to change the genre of convert hardcore haters, but as the genre goes, these Bostonians have to be considered a bright newcomer that should ease the recent loss of Verse.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 15th, 2009

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