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Comeback Kid - 'Trouble' EP Review


1. Trouble In The Winners Circle

2. Distruption

3. Chompin' At The Bit

4. Breaking And Bruised

If you've known the name Comeback Kid since the dawn of time but never actually listened to them then I guess you're just another dinosaur like me. Thankfully my first task for 3 Songs & Out is to acquaint myself with them and more specifically their new EP 'Trouble'. Long-time and die-hard Comeback Kid fans please forgive me as I fumble through this whilst trying not to do them a huge disservice.

'Trouble' is a veritable mashup of some of the funnest elements of melodic hardcore and hardcore punk. Condensed into four tight, punchy tracks filled with audible smacks in the lugholes, head-nods, sing-a-longs and gang chants; I'm absolutely here for it. It's the generic recipe for this type of music but when it's done as well as this no pedestrian within spin kick radius is safe.

Comeback Kid build a dynamic wall that builds, drops or hits before it becomes stale and tiresome; switching between shreds and melodies without anything feeling shoehorned in. Even when I know what's coming in the case of tracks like 'Disruption' which doesn't deviate from the blueprint, but still makes me do that lip purse when a dirty riff comes in, even after multiple listens. It's clear to see where bands like Turnstile take inspiration from in both sound and production.

Can I also give a shoutout to the chorus of 'Trouble in the Winner's Circle' that wouldn't sound out of place in a 90's action film just as the protagonist walks into a bar. Someone please let me know if you understand what I mean. It's a welcome segment of cheese that doesn't overwhelm the pallate.

Andrew Neufeld's vocals are the stand-out element for me. Imagine the vocal love child of Andrew Dijorio (Stray From The Path) and Sam Carter (Architects) and you've just about got it. He adds another layer of rhythm and melody that if missing could render Comeback Kid as decent but forgettable. But on top of their riffs it's the icing on the cake. And he sounds pissed off. Like, really pissed off. Nothing about his vocals come across as insincere or fake; this guy has something to say and you ARE going to pay attention. I certainly paid attention.

With just four tracks, 'Trouble' doesn't contain any filler or bumph. Like successful career burglars it gets in, does the business and gets out. I chose not to listen to any of their other releases whilst writing this to have a fresh perspective with no comparisons to their other work. For all I know this is their weakest output. If that was the case I'm going to have a great time delving into their twenty-odd year back catalogue, because 'Trouble' alone has got them a new fan.

Review - Arron Healy


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