The hardest thing for me to grasp about this band is that they’ve been around for less than two years, because a listen to the Shakedown EP by Toronto’s The New Enemy is a walk down memory lane to the early days of classic hardcore, when the music was about being fast and aggressive.
Coming in barely over 15 minutes, the six songs on Shakedown are like breath of fresh air, you know if that breath of fresh air was actually breathed in the hot confines of a sweaty circle pit, and was followed up with an elbow to the jaw.
Shakedown opens with the Canada-centrically titled “Tim Horton Hears a Who” and within seconds you know this is going to be good. Fast, punchy guitars carrying gravel-throated, politically-oriented vocals on a reeling ride that paints a circle pit in your head. It’s a ride that continues with the second track “Crawdaddy,” another meant-to-be pit anthem with solid breaks and fistpumping choruses.
It’s not all about reeling circle pit hardcore, though. On “The Pony Collector,” The New Enemy opens with a gritty bit of acoustic folkpunk – for all of 30 seconds, when they tear it wide open with a great punk rock track that retains the bit of twang from the acoustic bit.
The EP rounds out with “Level 2 Scapegoat,” "Skull Rule” and “Shelf Life,” three tracks that are driven, musically tight and tainted with metal, sort of like a mishmash of classic Agnostic Front, Strung Out and a bit of the greatest bits of more metallic thrash like Prong. In short – awesome.
If you’re a fan of classic hardcore, but always foaming to find bands that continue to do it while keeping it real and relevant, make friends with the New Enemy. Why these guys are not signed to a label defies reason; they manage to play a solid, classic sound, keeping it relevant like bands such as A New Tomorrow, and are one more band that gives me hope for real hardcore’s classic war against screamo bands.
You can download the Shakedown EP for free here. (as well as the band’s first release).
Release Date: December 8, 2009
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