Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Altered Boys - Demo

Altered Boys is from New Brunswick, NJ and play "Boston 80's hardcore". Much like Ugly Parts, Four Fingers and many other bands, these songs are are fast, angry and straight forward.

The production on this is pretty good and the high gain guitar sound is a nice modern touch to make this a little bit more tolerable to folks like me who don't want to hear the 80's redone by yet another band.

"Ask A Punk" starts the record off on an enthusiastic note, and the band exhibits the ability to write some catchy hooks into the song structure. The placement of group vocals adds to the fast moving feel and catchiness. They continue the demo with a mix of fast hardcore and mid temp two-step choruses.

It's not bad musicianship by any means, but much like other bands in this genre, there is nothing that's really grabbing me and drawing me in. The guitars and bass seemed to be mostly mirroring each others notes, never deviating from one another. I feel this is a missed opportunity, since they already have some great high gain tone; some deviation and creative fret work would really set this apart. There are some spurts of creative drumming though, and that lends itself to breaking things up a bit.

The highlight here is the lyrics, with some honestly written words commenting on punk subculture, medicating anxiety, depression and religion. There's no abstraction, vocalist Geoff is telling you how he feels and being very up front about it.