Outright and Keep You Warm have jointly entered into a Hardcore scene in the utmost health, forward-facing and self-sustaining. However, with much of the attention on the UK, European and North American scenes, it has become all too easy to forget the genre’s global ubiquity. So then, without further ado, to Melbourne, Australia for Outright and Keep You Warm.
Instantly, the fervour of the band’s cross-section of Hardcore and marginally more melodious efforts of 2018s’ Holler coalesce to the highest possible order. In ‘Truth Teller’ the band push, refine and own a fantastic Melodic Hardcore along with their thick, metallic abrasion with the latter’s aforementioned canonical power far from fading. ‘Truth Teller’ is an explosive iconoclastic barrage and indicative of our time. – ‘Is it erasing history if you never wrote or taught it truthfully?’
‘The Hammer’ sees the meandering leads of track one morph seamlessly into ripping top layer to a bout of Crossover Thrash beyond combustive. ‘Linchpin’ further suggests then wholly epitomizes the indomitable grasp Outright have on the Hardcore spectrum. Divergent, imbued with Punk riffs reduced but by no means reserved, ‘Linchpin’ and its Post and Melodic Hardcore sees Outright’s vicious metallic bite break free regularly and in complete confidence in its earnest contrast. In three tracks, though certifiably their own, in terms of comparison and suggested influence, the Outright MO arguably conjures names as far varied as Stinky, Modern Life Is War, War On Women, Comeback Kid and even the likes of Rise Against to an extent. That, however, could just be me.
From vocals to instrumentation, Outright have unambiguously become far more melodic and yet, again, their potent intensity has far from faltered. ‘Tied Through Time’ illustrates this sonically but also, has its melodies paint quite the poignant, raw reality of colonialism and the lessons that we have, quite staggeringly, still not learnt from. ‘Fortify’ and its incendiary Thrash-led, unadulterated Metal-centric display is sauteed with melodic guitars echoing the eerie world of Crust Punk. For every volatile salvo, the assault Outright unyieldingly accost your eardrums with is juxtaposed with charged melody, streamlined rhythms or crucially reserved instrumental interludes.
Though the variety on Keep Your Warm is often stark, the band’s track listing solicits no complaints and neither does the gleaming, but FAR from overproduced and banality rendering production found on this latest. In fact, both of these and along with the band’s collective acumen are the very reasons why tracks as far apart stylistically as ‘Breathless’ and the fellow standout, lumbering leviathan known as ‘The Call’ are able to own their sequential placement.
‘Burn’s self-immolating riff-heavy maelstrom boasts and substantiates all the reasons why Outright captured ears initially though has its hybridised Crossover Thrash, Metallic Hardcore feet firmly planted in their now. Stylistically, ‘Tyrants and Vultures’ is not only another top-tier track present within a greater effort, but its tightly wound, D-Beat and Melodic Hardcore- clout is yet more indicative proof of the utter skill and knowledge this band possesses.
‘A critical thinking lapse, lacking empathy, the discourse gets colder encouraging coward bigots to become bolder’
There is something ever so more raw, visceral and urgent in the closing ‘Silent Spring’. To be succinct, there isn’t a moment on Keep You Warm where poignancy and emphatic honesty aren’t enveloping. However, here, through the voice and fervour of the Australian Hardcore Punks, from a country where climate change is felt openly, it is forcibly and unapologetically thought-provoking. The band watches on in forlorn hope as the evidence fails to evoke any semblance of recognition. Track ten is melodic, powerful and cumbersome in equal measure as its shifting stylistic structure evocatively equates the lyrical frustration at the abject fall of an increasingly desolated hope. Climate change will be our undoing.
Though the Aussie four-piece’s work has always been a robust cross-reference of modern Hardcore, Keep You Warm is plainly indicative and representative of not only a band that cares but of one truly at the very top of their game.
Outright and Keep You Warm, that’ll do it. It’s out now on Reason and Rage Records. Find it all below.
- Reason and Rage Records: