I’ve been a fan of San Francisco’s Western Addiction ever since they first released their 2003 debut Cognicide, and while they’ve released two 7-inches since, I’ve have been anxiously waiting for their next full length. Finally nearly 12 goddamn years later, Western Addiction is back with their 80s hardcore influenced punk rock sophomore release Tremulous.
From the second album opener “Clatter and Hiss” starts, you know exactly what you’re in for… no bullshit, no frills melodic hardcore. There isn’t a single bad track on the album, with it’s very cohesive eleven tracks. Songs like “Masscult, Vulgarians, and Entitlement”, “Family of Boys”, and “Red Emeralds” are good examples of solid, aggressive and catchy songs that sound like they could have come off Cognicide.
The band changes things up a bit with tempo changing “Honeycreeper” or the more targeted aggression of “Righteous Lightning”. Western Addiction brought along some friends on the album as well, including Todd from Propagandhi sharing vocal duties on “Tadieum”.
Unlike their debut, Tremulous didn’t have any songs that really jumped out at me when I first listened to them individually, and I found that in order to truly appreciate them, you need to listen to the album as a whole. As I’ve stated before it’s an incredibly cohesive record, and I love it more with each listen. Western Addiction manages to take the energy of 80s hardcore, put their own spin on it and make one hell of an album. If you’re a fan of hardcore in the veins of Paint It Black or New Mexican Disaster Squad then this album is a must. Easily one of the best of 2017 so far, and I’m willing to bet will still be come the end of the year.