Now that the naming rights have been sorted out, Harley Flanagan and Rocky George (many should know these names!) come at you with a new release which features the tracks from their two recent EP’s, namely ‘Don’t Give In’ and ‘From the Grave’. Plus, there are some new tunes to bruise and batter you in these challenging times. If you liked this bands vastly competent and classic releases, that had more metal than pure hardcore, then you will love the refreshed approach on ‘In the Beginning’. I would suggest the style is more ‘Best Wishes’ and ‘Alpha Omega’ rather than the ‘Near Death Experience’, but lovers of the debut won’t be disappointed either. The production is epic though, a full forced boot in the face, I love it.
I don’t’ particularly want to, as I usually do, go through the release track by track, but there are immense sounds and some pointers to expansion of the bands repertoire that fit very well. There’s a 6-minute instrumental, a touch of clean singing on ‘The Final Test’ and the EP lead tracks are so damn good, I just want to play as loud as I can get away with in my neighbourhood. From start to finish, the album is a cavalcade of excitement, aggression and pure crossover and hardcore. The magic and momentum is perfect, as I’ve said before, the production is ever so powerful.
This is quite possibly their best release since the classic ‘Best Wishes’. It is updated with modern studio production which makes on hell of a racket and really has a fantastic energetic approach which is transferred to the listener. This is a whirlwind of crossover/hardcore energy. This juggernaut is coming to town once again next year; live, this is immense. But as I am talking about the studio release, realistically, all the history you may have heard is no hype, the proof is here. This blows away the cobwebs and banishes the pretenders with a large middle finger, this is NYC hardcore, this is art.
(9/10 Paul Maddison)