True fact I made up: every pop-punk band has a hardcore alter-ego. Newfound Glory has International Super Heroes Of Hardcore, Hold Tight has Tight Hold, and Direct Hit has umm… Direct Hit. So what does it sound like when bands like Hold Tight and Direct Hit decide to play hardcore on a split together? It sounds pretty fucking good… pretty fucking good.
Midwestern dudes Direct Hit give us 5 songs on their side, with the goal “to be more hardcore than Bane” (impossible as this commercial proves). The songs were written by the members for a different project when they thought Direct Hit was going to break up, and they got one of their friends to fill in on vocals. The riffs and vocals are abrasive (in a good way) with plenty of mosh breakdowns. Kind of reminds me of Sick Of It All.
Now anyone who reads this site even semi-regularly knows that I love Richmond’s Hold Tight. I think they play some of the best pop-punk around these days, and it turns out they play insanely good hardcore too. 11 songs in 11 minutes, they definitely are incredibly reminiscent of Paint it Black and at times, Cut the Shit (however my non-hardcore friend gave the helpful tip “Don’t bother with who they sound like, all hardcore sounds exactly the same”. Thanks bud.)
Hold Tight slows things down a little bit and experiments a bit on Stagger I and II, just like the band (Black Flag) they’re paying homage to.
Definitely check out this split, comes out March 20th on I Hate Punk Rock Records. Very good hardcore music by non-hardcore bands.