COMEBACK KID have spent the last few years being one of the biggest names in modern hardcore. Every album since 2005’s Wake The Dead has seen the bands popularity grow. Despite numerous line up changes the band have never lost their momentum. Outsider is their sixth studio album and their first released through Nuclear Blast Records.
Outsider sees COMEBACK KID changing things up a little bit. There’s still plenty of their trademark sound here, the title track opens things with but this time round a bigger focus has been place on melody. The album is packed with some of the biggest choruses COMEBACK KID have ever come up with. This gives the album a more fun vibe than what COMEBACK KID have had before. That’s not to say the album is lacking in aggression. Surrender Control gets the balance between mosh heavy hardcore and anthemic rock spot on. Lead single Absolute also made it clear just how different this album was going to be with its guest vocals from Devin Townsend, it’s a bizarre pairing but one that works really well.
One of the biggest strengths of Outsider is just how varied it can be. On this album COMEBACK KID have pulled ideas from several different styles and genres. While it’s roots are still very much in hardcore there’s a lot more going on. Somewhere Somehow has a chorus that feels like it could be a radio rock song. There is also a punk rock attitude all over Outsider, Andrew Neufeld snarling delivery is a huge part of this. Musically they pull more from their metallic influences as well with some riffs sounding like they’ve come straight from a thrash album. It’s clear COMEBACK KID don’t want to limit themselves but at the same time still know where their roots are. Recover even sees them dipping their toes into pop-punk territory. For every little piece of experimentation, there’s a hardcore rager to balance it out.
Closing track Moment In Time is easily one the most experimental track the band have written. Again featuring a guest vocal slot from someone you wouldn’t expect to hear on a hardcore album. With Canadian singer-songwriter Northcote adding his croon to their blasts of hardcore. These sort of curve ball moments really standout on the album. Guest vocal slots are nothing new in hardcore with most albums featuring multiple guests. But it’s very refreshing to see a band pull in a few surprising guests you wouldn’t normally associate with hardcore.
Outsider is an interesting new chapter for COMEBACK KID. They’ve been one of the most consistently brilliant and respected bands in hardcore and this album is another strong entry to their back catalogue. After being so good at something for so long, it’s natural that the band would want to try something new. This album feels like a great starting point for newcomers as well whilst still having enough to appeal to long time fans. Outsider feels like a strong starting point for this new direction COMEBACK KID are headed in. It might not quite reach the heights of their of their very best albums but if they can develop the ideas from this album then they will still have plenty to offer in the future.
Outsider is set for release on September 8th via Nuclear Blast Records.
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