Drain - California Cursed

10 Apr 2020 - Thorsten

Hardcore-Punk | Revelation Records | Release date: 10 Apr 2020

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As long as there are angry men pissed-off by the situation around them, Hardcore is in a good state.

Hardcore will never die. And no, this is not another version of a Mogwai-analogy. Hardcore will never die. No compromises no ambiguities in that sentence. There will always be pissed off young men angry at the world. Most of them will never make it to a recording studio, most of those who do will not get a record contract, for there are simply too many of them. And from those with a contract an even smaller handful will be able to land one with Revelation Records, maybe the most prestigious hardcore punk label ever. Drain from Santa Cruz, CA, are one of the latter ones, with their debut full-length released a few weeks ago with the infamous Revelation-R-star on it.

And, by the Gods of fast riffs, psyched-up screaming and good short songs, they deserve it. Everything about this record screams in your face “Listen to me! Listen to my worries! Listen to my anger!” They talk about the fake society and how it drowns out the will to go on, how corrupt the system is and how life in California pulls them down. Interesting is definitely the title track with its “California Dreaming”-quotes at the beginning which are then completely reversed showing how hard life in Cali is when you work a lot in order to barely get by and when you feel as if you don’t belong there in some way.

Music-wise we are talking about a band that knows about the importance of speed – many songs tick in below the 150 seconds-mark and only one is longer than three minutes. Thus the ten songs are over in 23 minutes – even shorter than some famous punk records (for example Bad Religion’s Suffer. The breakdowns are really nice also because they never drift off into Metalcore-spheres. The frontman is also very convincing in his despair and anger. But Drain also give you more than just speed and negativity. The short interlude “Hollister Daydreamer” is really a good moment to breathe deeply before attacking the last four songs. Or the outro to the record which is a kind of surf-beat-homage and gives you a deeply sarcastic aftertaste. Combine this with the cover of the album, which looks a bit like a negative to Green Day’s have-fun-record Dookie and you get a band that is really much more than your average hardcore band.

Taking in all of this you should remember that as long as bands like Drain release records on labels like Revelation the world is not as bad as it may seem.