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If there’s one thing clear from Outright’s debut album Avalanche, we are in serious need of more female lyricists. The ferocious LP from a band that has been making significant waves in the Melbourne hardcore scene is one of the year’s best releases in every sense of the word.
Outright throttle the listener’s throat from the opening guitar riffs and powerful screams of lead vocalist Jelena Goluza in ‘Troubled’. Every riff and drum beat sound as if they’re threatening to jump out of the listener’s speakers and cause physical damage. ‘Old Roots’ provides a welcome break from the fast-paced destruction left in the wake of the album’s first half, yet it deceptively serves as a preparation for the ear before the generational war cry ‘Iron String’ kicks through the door. Joel Taylor’s recording, Taylor Young’s mixing and Brad Boatright’s mastering all contribute to the stellar crisp production that makes Avalanche a stunning debut.
To take a sidenote away from the spectacular production and sound, there’s a distinct potency in Goluza’s delivery and lyrics on topics of women abuse and death. The subjugation of women has been sung about by males in hardcore before, but to hear the vitriol spat from a woman who has most likely experienced the horrific behaviour in tracks such as opener ‘Troubled’ and ‘A City Silent’ provides a level of disgust that simply can’t be emulated by those who’ve never been a victim. For those who live in the city, the wall collapse of 2013 in the Melbourne CBD was a well-known tragedy, yet Goluza recounts her participation in the desperate rescue attempt only to find pooling blood and an outstretched hand reaching its final grasp in ‘The Collapse’.
‘Avalanche’ is laced with despair, distrust for religion and fear of anxiety and a call to action that should be heeded by all.
Outright have built a reputation from genuinely powerful performances throughout their career, and their debut Avalanche is no exception. In such a spectacular album, it’s hard to believe the highlight occurs in its dying moments. The band comes together masterfully to provide the underlying canvas for Goluza’s colourful scream to paint her surprisingly hopeful mantra: “I won’t be afraid of today”. If this is the future of hardcore, we shouldn’t be either.
2. Forging On
4. The Collapse
5. A City Silent
6. Old Roots
7. Iron String
9. With Your Blessing
11. New Seeds