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Since 2004, Comadre have been putting out records that skirt the edges of “hardcore” with a versatile yet cohesive sound – a style that has sometimes worked in the band’s favour and other times not. With their self-titled LP, the San Fransisco five-piece release their most eclectic work to date, drawing in a wide variety of styles and influences to deliver their most enjoyable record yet.
The record opens with ‘Color Blind‘ and single ‘Cold Rain‘, two fairly standard hardcore songs that lay the foundations of Comadre‘s aesthetic; punchy, hooky guitar riffs over a strong, driving rhythm section and the abrasive vocals of singer Juan Gabe.
Around third song ‘King Worm‘ things start to get a little more interesting – it’s essentially a dark, post-punk track with a straight-up pop chorus and keyboards and backing vocals that feel reminiscent of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This is something that carries on throughout the record on tracks such as ‘Summercide‘, ‘Drag Blood‘ and ‘Hack‘. Everything that makes the earlier Comadre records enjoyable is present, but catchy as hell hooks and choruses, and the addition of synths and organs (something that can be extremely risky territory in hardcore) are a testament to the band’s versatility – at no point does it feel forced, or a gimmick.
One of the album’s most enjoyable moments is instrumental track ‘Untitled‘ leading into ‘Binge‘, arguably the record’s poppiest foray – and it all fits right into place. Where other bands may have had some difficulty making this record feel natural, Comadre have managed to create something that feels utterly boundary-free but also extraordinarily cohesive. That said, diehard fans of earlier Comadre material, ‘guitar music’ purists and those who prefer their punk a little more barebones may find it all a little too much to bear, and admittedly it can feel somewhat overwhelming.
With their self-titled, Comadre have thrown any creative restraints of punk and hardcore to the wayside, allowing a plethora of varied influences and genres to seep through their songwriting. It’s a move that ultimately pays off, delivering the band’s most creative effort to date, and one of the most unique hardcore records in recent memory.
1. Color Blind
2. Cold Rain
3. King Worm
5. The Moon
6. Drag Blood
7. Must Be Nice
12. Date Night