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Monday, February 27, 2017

The Fullblast - Attack.Sustain.Decay (Review)

Well, is an honour to talk about a band that have been a HUGE influence for me since I started discovering and listening to skatepunk / melodic hardcore.
This band never were another more of the pile. They always had a very particular sound, it’s like a perfect mix of fast melodic hardcore with some explosive post hardcore breakdowns, with the add of poppy vocals and catchy choruses. The best formula to sound awesome and original to my taste.

In all my time as a skatepunk freak-lover, never found a band that came close to the sound shaped in “Short Controlled Bursts” or “Contagious Movement Theory” era for example. Half Hearted Hero had a lot of Fullblast’s influence between 2007-2011, but still light years away from that perfection, in my opinion.

It’s very gratifying for me that so many legendary bands of the genre are getting back together, touring the world and creating new music again (for nostalgia, probably). Now’s the time for these Canadian masters, after 10 years of hiatus since they disbanded, they’re back in the form of “Attack.Sustain.Decay”, a 5-song EP that returns to form that builds on the band’s legacy without lower a bit of its quality.

After listening to “Redemption”, their very first single released on December 2016, the first thing I thought barely the song start, was, “fuck, they changed vocals!”, but fortunately I was wrong. However, I was glad that they’re still keep playing fast (although not so insanely fast as before) and with a well-defined mature voice. I was very excited to listen to more new songs.

The next single to be released was “Stay” on January 2017, this song ended up of convincing me that they were bringing something big up their sleeve. This one has much more of their 2005 style, with that magical progressive touch that characterizes them. Since that moment I couldn’t wait more for February 24th.
And so, the day finally came and it’s time to give a deep view into their new mini-album!

The opening song presents the EP in the way melodic hardcore has to be. Lead guitar draws the course of the song, then rhythm guitar joins and let the madness begin. Second verse has a great part of bass lines in combination of impressive drumming that holds its level showing Andrew’s skills in different beats until the song finishes.
I think that this powerful song for opening was the best choice.

This next song hooks perfectly with the previous one, because it follows the same harmonious circle. The most of the song has fast skatepunk beats alternating with mid-tempo in choruses. Flawless vocals work from Ian in conjunction with well-harmonized strings and deep lyrics make of this one, my fav song of the EP.
Another thing that I like is that the song ends up with the same riff it begins. Something new in them.

Since you listen to the “whoa, whoa-a” in the intro part, you know this one is catchy as fuck.
Fast skatepunk in the verses that turns to pop punk rhythm later. Great vocal melodies throughout the whole song. I love those solo parts jamming out between Brian’s bass and Andrew’s drums, like in the two previous tunes. Finally, a post hardcore style emotive chorus closes up this masterpiece.

This song starts with vocals and intense sound. It’s easily one of the most energetic and technical of the album, lots of great progressions and open-string guitar riffs that Darran executes along with a very creative drumming work that fits between fast tempos and heavy passages along the entire song.
Also worth noting that it has great melancholic lyrics that will touch your heart.

The last song shows up with full throttle melodic hardcore since the intro. Recycling the melodic punk well-known formula (lead guitar playing cool octave-riffs with heavier power chords on the back). The verses keeps as fast as always until chorus breaks.
The song turns dark just before last verse begins, and as I expected, it finishes perfectly with one of those progressive post hardcore beats they frequently use.

I can say that “Attack.Sustain.Decay” contains 15:18 minutes of pure gold. When you listen to it, you enjoy a mix of pure Fullblast’s old style with a mature nostalgic sound, most notably in vocals. They are not using those incredibly long and hilarious song names anymore. New songs has only one-word names, on the other hand, they keep intact the emotive side in the lyrics.

Something that surprises me, is that The Fullblast plays fast beats in all their new songs. Sincerely, I expected two or three fast songs at most. Although now, they play fast parts in something about 220 BPM, when they used to play in 240 BPM or higher in their previous releases.

Another thing I realize in this work, is that they use almost always the same formula in all songs (fast skatepunk verses / heavy post hardcore choruses). They know how to do it very well, because it does not sound boring or repetitive at all.

And finally, I have to say you that having new material of these Canadian legends, is a dream came true. I hope this is not their last release, due to the fact that they have much more to give us. And well, if miracles exists, I’d love that Jerk Circus come back together someday!

Final Score: ★★★★✩
Review written by: MarioSkatecore
You can download the review in its original format here: Mediafire


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