For Fans Of
New York has always had the ability to chew you up and spit you out. A trait commonly reflected and not discriminative of music itself. You see it’s almost like an ‘only the tough survive’ way of approaching music. Queens’s Endwell really haven’t broken down many doors over time and never have they been referenced as one of the genre’s genuine frontrunners but yet the band has still managed to endure in the harsh and often fickle hardcore scene.
The issue here is whether this tough front is sincere or merely a faux representation that feeds off similar acts. Speak to some and predecessor album, ‘Consequences‘ was impressive. Speak to others and Endwell are merely an after-thought. Studio album number three entitled, ‘Punishment‘ neatly nestles in between. The word ‘solid’ seems most apt. This album is neither good nor bad, just consistent in delivery. Take it as you will, there’s some decent periods and yet then there’s moments where the album ultimately feels like it’s going through the motions.
Endwell have definitely come full circle. Debut album, ‘Homeland Insecurity‘ was a twelve track dose of derivative screamo filler while ‘Punishment‘ definitely channels that old-school, east coast hardcore sound. The move from Victory to Mediaskare has definitely seen a renewed focus and a much heavier sound. In the past, namely on sophomore offering, ‘Consequences‘ you could claim Endwell as metalcore’s own but aside from the odd breakdown there’s not too much more that helps the band fit this claim if ‘Punishment‘ is anything to go by. Like mentioned, the riffs are dense and favour punk and hardcore structures instead of European sweeping and melodic tones.
‘Depression Party‘, featuring guest vocals from Deez Nuts frontman JJ Peters, is the perfect indication of where the album lies in the heavy music landscape. ‘High Friends in Low Places‘ is a two-stepping, four minute dose of hardcore mixed with some fiercer, more guttural vocals and frantic guitar riffs. ‘Dark Waves‘ is one of the heavier tracks, which sounds like a composite of the sound found on Carpathian‘s ‘Nothing to Lose‘ and Bury Your Dead‘s ‘Beauty and the Breakdown‘. ‘Negative Pressure‘ again offers itself up as a straight-laced track, clocking in under the three minute mark.
The only issue is this sound feels slightly dated. There is a plethora of albums that sound like this, with many coming out many years previous.
One thing ‘Punishment‘ has going for it, is that the album does grow on you. If you can overlook the lack of complexity and a sense of sameness then this album will offer a few charms and reason to listen repeatedly.
‘Punishment’ continues Endwell’s rise from merely a musical ‘also-ran’ to a band with a bit of spark. However, when you’re starting from scratch there is only one way to go. Optimistically speaking, ‘Punishment’ again is an improvement but with the band changing their sound and style with each subsequent release it’s time to choose a direction and find some much need continuity for the band and listeners sake alike.
1. Greater Haste
2. Anxiety Bath
3. Depression Party
4. Dark Waves
5. Forgotten Wolves
6. Manson Lamps
7. High Friends in Low Places
8. Living Reverie
9. Black Horns
10. Negative Pressure
11. Plague Wielders
13. Fractal Gloom