When reading the name Comeback Kid one thing immediately comes to mind: No nonsense oldschool hardcore. In the twenty years since their inception they only released seven albums, which isn’t a lot, when you consider that every album clocks in at about 30 minutes. So how does their new album Heavy Steps hold its ground?
The first thing that sticks out first listening to Heavy Steps is the cover art for sure. It reminded me a bit of the new Quicksand album, but it is very original and something not often seen in the hardcore sphere. That said, once the first notes of the opening title-track sound through your speakers, you should feel right at home. The sound of Comeback Kid did not change that drastically over the past two decades and some might criticize the band for that, but it is also a good thing: you know what to expect of a new CBK-album and if you like their sound, it is nice to get more of that sweet sweet hardcore goodness.
After the title track the album picks up even more pace with ”No Easy Way Out” and ”Face The Fire”, before it gives us one of the highlights of the album, ”Crossed”. This one might be the hardest song of the album and when you notice, that it features Joe Duplantier of Gojira, it becomes evident why. This song is djenty, chuggy and a lot of fun to listen to at higher volume.
Afterwards comes the equally amazing ”Everything Relates” featuring JJ Peters. If you don’t know he is the singer of Australian rap hardcore heavyweights Deez Nuts. The song takes on a topic, many bands have tackled in the past few months: The death of Sean Kennedy, Deez Nuts’ former bass player, whose death resonated all throughout the hardcore community, with a band like The Amity Affliction also paying him tribute.
Even past the halfway mark the album does not slow down or lose its energy. ”Dead On The Fence” or ”Shadow Of Doubt” are just waiting for you to start a moshpit in your living room and will be a lot of fun to experience at a concert.
If you look at the plays on Spotify, the last three to four songs have a lot fewer listens than the earlier half of the album and they really deserve more love. They lose nothing of the intensity of the earlier songs and are different enough to not be counted as “more of the same”. ”Standstill” is arguably the most melodic song of the album and sounds really refreshing. And after ”Menacing Weight” has ended, I yearn for more Comeback Kid, though it is a really good ending to another fantastic release in their discography.
Heavy Steps is a fantastic birthday gift by CBK and a sign that even after twenty years these guys still know how to play hardcore and stay true to their roots. We hopefully don’t have to wait another five years to hear the next album.