I recently read an online article that consisted of questions you should ask yourself if you’re in a band and trying to get signed. The first and biggest question was, “what’s original about my band?” Of course, I’m not in a band, so I’ll ask that question of A18. What’s original about their band?
The answer is, not much. A18 serves up standard, trademark, straight forward SXE hardcore.
Foreverafternothing is very heavily front loaded. By that, I mean the first two songs are the best on the album. “Dig” shows listeners what the band has to offer — hardcore drums, bass driven riffs, and lots and lots of yelling. Where the band really comes together is on track two. “Broke the Blue” changes up tempos, singing styles, guitar sounds, and everything else within the song. Once that song ends though, so does the originality.
The rest of the disc dulls in comparison. Despite a couple of short interludes, “Things I Don’t Believe” consists of two chords played over and over. And over. Everything else came off as hardcore or punk stuff I’ve heard before. I skimmed a few other online reviews, all of which compared A18 to Biohazard and Hatebreed. I’m sure I’m showing my age, but I heard some Minor Threat and DRI in there as well.
Despite not bringing much new to the table, A18’s foreverafternothing is sonically perfect. The bass lines wander around the straight-forward guitars, particularly on “In Droves”, mixing things up a bit. Most of the other tracks just march forward in a straight forward screaming attack, until we reach “Hari Kiri”, which gives off a faint smell of Visions Of Disorder before fading out into forgetsville.
Foreverafternothing didn’t stick with me at all. Just minutes after listening to the disc, I was hard pressed to recall a single riff or chorus. Those searching for a new straight edge hardcore album might pick this one up, but it’s hard to recommend something “good” when there’s so many great hardcore bands out there.
02. Broke The Blue
03. Public Apology
04. Three Times Sold
05. With Kind Regards
06. Things I Don’t Believe
07. Where I Left Off
08. Scars Upon Scars
09. In Droves
10. Bury Me Breathing
11. Hari Kiri