Driven Fear – Contender


Artist

Album

Contender

Label

Pee Records

Year

2011

Genre

For Fans Of

Raised Fist - Comeback Kid

Summary

Mature Australian hardcore at its best.

Rating

80 / 100

If the opening monologue on Brisbane band Driven Fear‘s new full length says anything, it’s that you can expect some pretty weighty messages to be found in the songs to follow. Topping off their well received EP releases, ‘Contender‘ allows the group to spread their wings a little more and really show people what they can do.

The band can safely pride themselves on steering clear of many of the hardcore clichés as opening track Sense To The Senseless burst out of the gate with intensity and anger, venting social frustrations backed by a fast paced beat but slightly restrained guitars. The power and focus are given to the vocals whilst the guitars provide melody in the chorus, this all slows down near the songs end as the vibe changes and you realise that Driven Fear are not just another run of the mill hardcore band.

Second track Growth is one of the shorter tracks on the album but also one of the more mature, take the irony of the title any way you want, but for its brief appearance Growth is the perfect sample of the different ideas Driven Fear can bring to the genre.

There are still some standard, and a slightly un-interesting moments, such as Wolf Tickets, but they are made up for by songs like All Rivers, in which the guitars jump from post-hardcore style playing to straight up punk rock. The title track is an anthem of sorts, one that you can picture a sweaty crowd screaming along to inside some dive hole venue, as Contender is another highlight.

The Hunt is a further shining moment, an instrumental track that offers a break from the albums intensity before revving back up for the powerful Pages. The record ends on some moments that will be the final nail in your coffin of Driven Fear fandom. In Care Of…begins sounding like a single mic room recording capturing raw passion which leads into the machine gun attack of Ten Years and ends on the catchy hooks of Scattered To The Winds which sums up ‘Contender’ perfectly.

Conclusion

These days hardcore music needs bands like Driven Fear and albums like ‘Contender’ as they offer something new, in balance, with the elements of the genre that people know and love. Hopefully the band continue to push the more off kilter aspects of their sound in the future as it will be interesting to see where that could take them.

Tracklisting

1. Sense To The Senseless
2. Growth
3. Wolf Tickets
4. All Rivers
5. Contender
6. Into Submission
7. The Hunt
8. Pages
9. Like The Plague
10. March 29th
11. Aberration
12. In Case Of…
13. Ten Years
14. Scattered To The Winds

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