Killing the Dream
In Place Apart

Of all the hardcore EP’s chucked at me over the last few years, the self titled EP from this California band still gets regular airplay. Killing The Dream also get addition exposure when I play the excellent Embrace the End album as guitarists Joel Adams and Bart Mullis moonlight in that slighter heavier death core project. What we have here is absolutely top notch, passionate, powerful contemporary hardcore; melodic yet scathing, emotive and biting, Killing The Dream take all the uplifting melody and lyrics and power chord punk riffs of Bane and Comeback Kid and mix them with the urgent, acerbic and acidic punch of label mates Embrace Today.

Trust me kids, this is good. Damn good, and it should elevate Killing The Dream into the hardcore elite as it does everything perfectly; The razor sharp production of Kurt Ballou, the truly rabid screams of vocalist Elijah Horner (Horner never lets up as his shredded larynx delivers spiteful and often meaningful diatribes of triumph and failure and loss), the blisteringly paced, soaring harmonies that verge on metalcore with Tourettes, the violent yet vibrant nature of the song structures. It all just comes together for a truly emotional record. This is what the painfully playful With Honor should sound like.

The start of “Rough Draft (An Explanation)” is almost a misleading lull compared to rest of the album’s continual intensity. Each of the 12 tracks is a short sharp, tear inducing jab to the face with no respite other than the eventual album ending comedown off “Four Years Too Late”. Free from forced hardcore machismo or overt metalcore woe, Killing the Dream’s riotous sound is of unbridled, old school hardcore intensity with just a pinch of metalcore’s sense of somber harmony. No fucking emo, no clean segues, no acoustics, no poppy structures, and no simplistic breakdowns; Just sheer fucking sonic wreckage. Of course, most of the tracks bleed into each other with a seamless sense of purpose but the restrained vigor of “Where the Heart Is” and the vitriolic chorus of “We’re All Dead Ends”, the dramatic opening of “Ante Up”, the sheer force of “Writer’s Block” stand out amid the sonorous chaos. All the tracks though, no matter how short and visceral contain delicate strums of harmony that give the abrasion some silver lining (esp. “Post Script”, “Sick of Sleeping”, “Past The Stars” and “39th % Glisan”). That being said, it’s too fucking short.

This is such a good, vein bursting hardcore record, it hurts and if Bane’s The Note let you down, this is the album to pick you back up. And then kick you in the balls.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 14th, 2005


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