I'm not a hardcore kid at heart. You know that. I love the music, absolutely, I love a lot of aspects of the hardcore scene. But I don't consider myself a hardcore kid. You know why?
Hardcore kids wear hats, or as they like to call them 'beanies', indoors, where it's, you know, warm. They have no sense of rhythm, apparently. They dance weirdly. It's just odd. I don't get that.

Anyway, that was how I felt when I entered the Kavka venue last Sunday. Tons of kids, cool kids, uncool kids, whatever. I didn't feel part of it. It was a kinda 'big' show, you see? Big shows are generally not my scene. And this was a big hardcore show, so although I do spend a lot of time wandering in the local hardcore scene, meeting friends, interviewing bands, listening to records and discovering new and interesting bands, I didn't feel part of the crowd at this show.

I missed the first band. They were called Blind Beliefs. Their name reminds me of a youth crew band that'd have a logo in graffiti lettering or something. I don't know though.

Ashes played, and they ruled. They always rule. They've got a new drummer and a new 7" coming up. It had been a while since I'd seen them, but they're still on top of their game. Angry, brutal, groovy and just really intense. Really angry. I love that. The new songs are better than the older ones, that's a good sign. They know how to write a fucking riff, man. Lots of moshing and stuff, as per usual to the wrong beat and at the wrong times. These kids ain't got no sense. Ashes is gonna be big, if they aren't already.

Then, the main reason I'm writing this blog thing a-here, and why I was at the show. A Strength Within. Release show. They have a new album, called Pushing Forward, and well, fuck me... It's so good. Their show was great, full of energy, Kevin and Tom are doing more backing vocals which I totally dig. The songs are hardcore pur sang, you know, these guys get it and they know what they're doing. Intelligent songwriting and sincere lyrics performed by a band that has very clear ideas on how they want their band to sound and to be organized. They work hard as fuck and I feel like that should be paying off.
Yet, the crowd was kinda fucking lame when they played. I didn't get it. They were going nuts during Ashes, but kinda just stood there during A Strength Within. And, seriously, I know they're two different bands with different sounds and songs, but dang, it's fucking hardcore, it all sounds the same. It's loud and fast and angry. It's weird to see that people are so fickle and ambiguous at shows. Was it a case of "I earned enough scenepoints during the first bands, I think I can take a nap now"? Or was it rather "nobody's doing anything, I don't wanna make a fool of myself by being the only one having fun"? Or am I deaf and don't I realise that A Strength Within is actually an awful band? That doesn't seem very plausible. Fucking hell.

Anyway, they put on a rad show, the new songs are ragers and the old 'hits' still do their thing. And the new record is very good. Here's why:
- It's a straight-forward hardcore record. No mucking about, no breakdowns for the sake of breakdowns, it's just fast, loud and honest.
- Leech has a guitar solo in it. Like in the old days. I love that they do such things. Kevin is a really talented guitar player as well. Same for the little solo-thing in Endless Roads. That's just so fun.
- It's faaaaaaast. YES! Fast.
- The rhythm section is at its fucking finest. Like I said, the songs are well-composed, and the drums and bass just lift them. The drum pattern in Endless Roads rules.
- Mike is angry. His vocals are clearer than on previous recording, but still harsh and spit out with passion.
- At times, his lyrics border on cliché, but he managed to write 10 songs that fit together and put his thoughts on a plate. It's a message, it's a vessel for his opinions and ideas and I think that's very important in hardcore. A lot of his writing is really interesting and clever.
- Confined. Yes, that's a reason.

It is a good record. Buy it. That's all.

I didn't really care about seeing Coldburn or Expire, but I remember them being good. So that was nice. People seemed to love them. There were a lot of people. Some friends. Mostly people I never see at other local shows.


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