Endstand - The Time Is Now
Endstand are a five piece hardcore punk rock band from Finland. Over the last ten years they've been building up a devoted fan base through relentless touring all over Europe and an impressive back catalogue of EP and album releases. The Time Is Now is the band's first release on Life Force records and their third full length album.
The maturity of the band definitely shines through in this ferocious and hard hitting wall of rock. The album is an angry testament to the fact that hardcore and screamo are alive and well. The lyrics are probably particularly scathing and soul searching, although they could be about kittens and tea parties as you can't really make out much of the words. I did catch 'You make me want to... [something]' and 'Why do we/you.. [something]?', if we simply mentally insert words like bleed, try, die, fail, or similar in place of [something] then the lyrics are credible and heartfelt. However if vocalist Janne (you can't really call him a singer, although he's very good at the angry shouting and growling that he does), were singing words like dance, smile or chase bunnies then all would be lost. My rather long winded point is: this is hardcore at it's most hard, don't expect any vocal melody at all, not even spoken parts. I'd love to hear Janne talk as performing like that constantly for the last ten years must make for an interesting voice!
The guitar work on The Time Is Now is fairly conventional, as are the drums. There are interesting melodies, which help to give the songs something more than just the throaty vocals. Although the riffs are not really that outstanding they are well executed and give menace and grunt to the tracks. A good example is To Feel Alive, one of the best tracks on the album. The guitars create continuous melodies and counter melodies, moving the song ever onwards. The vocals almost act as the rhythm section whilst the rest of the band takes the lead, the breaks and fills between sections are interesting and the different band members, especially guitars and drums, work really well together to create a cohesive and ever evolving sound.
Endstand are clearly well established on the underground hardcore scene and this album will surely further their reputation. It's fast and hard, just as it should be, no compromises and no pause for breath. There's nothing new here, but then if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?