ARTIST: COMEBACK KID

TITLE: OUTSIDER

LABEL: NUCLEAR BLAST

RATING: 8/10

Whether you’re brand new to Comeback Kid or have been a fan since day one, no matter what record we’re talking, no matter which of the many incarnations is playing, you can always count on Comeback Kid to deliver the finest, most memorable melodic hardcore. All the way from their Turn It Around debut and 2014’s Die Knowing, Comeback Kid have developed a knack for riffs that switch from going speedily bouncing one second, to maladjusted swinging the next, hooky melody in the form of Andrew Neufeld’s soaring yelling and all-in-this-together gang vocals.

On newest record Outsider Comeback Kid deliver everything you’re used to about them, to the highest standard, and then some. The title track and ‘Surrender Control’ showcase Comeback Kid’s signature rapid, rampaging sound done just as well as it’s ever been, whilst ‘Blindspot’ and ‘Livid, I’m Prime’ offer the firmest, meatiest breakdowns the band have ever done.

If you love everything Comeback Kid have done, this is going to be no different for you. With that being said though, Comeback Kid do offer some new surprises with Outsider, especially in some of the guest spots. On ‘Absolute’ Devin Townsend lays down the most metal vocals ever put to any Comeback Kid song in the form of drawn-out, menacing screeches. Folk singer, Northcote, offers earnest, rugged charm to morose, slow burning guitars on closing track ‘Moment In Time’, making for a haunting atmosphere, however this track soon erupts into scatter-fire pummelling to give you one more thing to headbang to.

Perhaps the most startling track, not just on this record, but of any song Comeback Kid have ever done, is ‘Hell Of A Scene’ which features Comeback Kid’s scrappiest firepower ever, before going into the sunniest chorus, made by bright vocals and strumming that just drifts along. Think the love child of prime Sick Of It All and Blink 182, a disaster on paper right? Except Comeback Kid have been such pros at throwing melody into their initially raw and battering sound for so long, that they pull it off organically and to impressive effect.

This new level of bright hookiness resurfaces every now and again throughout the record to the point that you could even call parts of the songs, or the majority of some of the songs, pop-punk. With that being said, it’s all woven coherently and Comeback Kid have more than enough blistering riffs in their arsenal to ensure Outsider is an exhilaratingly, aggressive record which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Overall, Outsider is another fine addition to Comeback Kid’s already near-flawless discography of feisty hardcore. You can be certain with these songs, just like everything that’s come before, that they’re going to ignite cult-like singalongs and holes in the floor, whether that be at their shows, bars or parties. However, what’s extra impressive this time round, is how that, whilst providing everything there’s always been to love about this band, in spades, they’re also giving us new reasons to love them.

WORDS: MAX CUSSONS

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