Do you remember the hardcore music from the 90’s? It was the type of music that oozed machismo. It made you feel like you can take on anyone, no matter how skinny or fat you were in real life. It was the kinda music that got you pumped up and filled your blood with adrenaline. France based five piece In Other Climes knows what I’m talking about here and they are determined to bring back that tune. Their third full length ‘Leftover’ is the band’s attempt to capture the glory of 90’s hardcore while adding a metallic touch to the sound.
In a way they succeed. The metallic hardcore sound of the band does take the listener on a trip down memory lane. The punk attitude, the screamed vocals, the gang chants and break downs, all bring out the hardcore punk in you. The energy and the ‘fuck you’ attitude tend to get you all pumped up. As the tracks progress, it brings to memory another thing about hardcore in the 90’s; the reason the genre could not sustain. Just like every other 90’s hardcore record that got too boring too fast, ‘Leftover’ suffers from a serious lack of variety.
The constantly similar pace of the tracks and the unimaginative song structures make sure that listening to the album repeatedly becomes a chore. The record is not entirely bad. There are a few things that In Other Climes manage to do well. For instance, the bass work on the album really stands out. The thundering bass guitar is so high in the mix that its hard to miss it. The tracks where they mix a bit of thrash metal, like in ‘Brainwashed’, are pretty nice. And there is also a decent Lemmy impersonation going on in ‘Have you ever?’.
These few highlights aside, the album as a whole fails to captivate the audience. The band has got the execution right. The songs are well played and musicianship is quite good. But by leaving out innovation in song writing, the band falls into the pitfall shared by many a hardcore band, that is monotony. The band ends the record with a track called ‘We are an European Band’, which is ironic. If it weren’t for the information on the promo, I would have bet that this band is from New York.
In Other Climes’ ‘Leftover’ succeeds in reminding me of my love for 90’s hardcore. But unfortunately, after listening to this album, I did not listen to it again immediately. Instead, I went on to revisit the old Black Flag and Minor Threat records instead.