Review: Concrete Cross’ Self-Titled Debut Shows Crushing Promise

Firmly rooted in hardcore, Concrete Cross' relentless speed and rage gives new hope to the genre.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

From the ashes of other things, comes the unification of a greater, more powerful force. A thing not just ugly, not just riddled with self-doubt and misanthropy, but a massive fireball of power that stomps all over your skull. Where? Where would one find such a mammoth machine? Turn around slowly, no quick movements, and you will view Concrete Cross, a crew of gentlemen looking to burn the world down for no reason other than its need to be done. An unquestionable new level of aggressive hardcore, Concrete Cross’s self-titled debut is staggeringly good.

The band’s roots a firmly based in hardcore. The members have crawled out of the wreckage of bands like Sick Of Talk, Disinhil and Celebrity Murders. Haven’t heard of them? Don’t fret, nobody really has. Unified as a new order, Concrete Cross call upon past hardcore greats like Die Kreuzen, Technocracy era COC, The Accused, and more recent bands like Cursed. Trap Them and His Hero Is Gone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Concrete Cross rip those bands off, more that they take from the power of that music, and then add their own dark twist to it.

Concrete Cross is relentless, which is a welcome escape from more traditional modern hardcore. No riot vocals, no breakdowns or mosh parts, just blinding speed and rage. All ten tracks blow by in a neck-snapping twenty minutes or less. Everything here is built for short, focused blasts of power. Concrete Cross has no wasted motion in their attack. The guitars explode from the first song to the last. Quick, hammering riffs, backed by punishingly fast drums, and the occasional ten second solo. Just as the noise and power hit a most excellent crescendo, Concrete Cross ends the song. There’s nothing pretty about what this band does, but it is incredibly effective.

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These songs are too short to really give a track-by-track review. Besides, that’s not where the strength of the album lies. Unlike so many bands who try to impress from jam to jam, Concrete Cross use their album to create an entire, visceral experience. You have to hear the album from start to finish to really appreciate how well these songs are put together. Individually you can run around your room and break things to each tune, but when you listen as a whole, the album transcends genre and taps into something pretty amazing.

So, do you have hankering for thousand mile an hour guitars, drums so fast you keep waiting for them to go back in time, and vocals that screech with a nefarious combination of despair, hatred and self-loathing? Are you searching for a band that bleeds their poisons all over the songs they play, and invite you to drink deeply into those horrors? If so then you simply don’t get any better than Concrete Cross. Their self-titled debut is one of the most impressive albums I have heard this year. I stand ready for a day when the kids will take cues from these kinds of bands, and reclaim hardcore from the moronic chest-thumpers who currently own it.

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