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Ironbound NYC - With A Brick Review
By Hobo

The debut album from Ironbound NYC starts off with a classic quote from Carlitos way; "well you up against it now motherf***er - you think you're big time? f***in die, big time! Here come the pain."

Then you're hit with a sledgehammer of mid-paced hardcore punk rock. That is, old school hardcore in the vein of Sick of It All, Agnostic Front and the Cro-Mags - all very simple, grass-roots, minimalist, effective stuff. The guitars have a nice thick metallic tone with the bass rumbling underneath - somewhat similar to the production on a later era Sick of it All album. The recordings were done with an array of musicians, including members of Sick of it All, Straight Ahead, Maximum Penalty, Nausea, Killing Time and Chronic Fear.

For those of you somewhat unacquainted with older hardcore, I'd like to point out the complete absence of breakdowns, screamo/emo vocals, shallow lyrics and metal influence. A lot of later-era hardcore like Madball incorporated thrash elements into punk, resulting in fast and furious tracks with massive breakdowns. Ironbound NYC are completely devoid of these elements to the point where most the album is filled with slow, rolling grooves - even slower than the average Sick of it All track!

The lyrics focus on the old themes of betrayal, friendship and family - often derivative stuff with nothing new or overly powerful really being said. One highlight was the brief moment in track 3 during a dual vocal chorus; "Hit you in the face with a f***ing brick (CHUMP!) Hit you in the face with a f***ing brick (PUNK!)" Classic stuff there.

This album certainly doesn't break any ground - and in fact, the group have actually made a point to wind the clock back fifteen years and play minimalist New York hardcore, more for themselves than anything else. They achieve their goal adequately, but the same old lyrics and the average array of riffs really don't grab me in the way so many Sick of It All albums have in the past.

If you're drying for a fix of retrogressive hardcore punk rock then by all means grab this - if you're looking for something to convert you to older-style hardcore look instead to one of the classics from the genre. I don't really see the point of this other than nostalgia - it certainly isn't that enjoyable a listen.

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