Tuesday, February 28, 2012

REVIEW: BENCHPRESS! - Stay Hated EP

BENCHPRESS may seem like a joke band based on their name  But don't let that fool you. Taking influence from bands like Integrity, Madball, and Terror, it's hard not to take them seriously.  If you like fast paced hardcore with shredtastic solos, mixed with some added fun for the mosh warriors, this band is for you.  BENCHPRESS is from Central PA and making a name for themselves very quickly.  So if you're from PA, NY, MD, NJ, chances are you might be hearing about this band soon.  Now about the Stay Hated EP. It's 6 tracks of metal-laced hardcore full of pure fury and rage.  The albums opener "Hellbound" has a really strong New York "bouncy" feel to it and gives you and good taste for the band and what they're about.  The follow-up "Out of My Mind" is definitely a song for kids trying to hit the pit.  Its hard and heavy through the song and at towards the end of the song Donnie lays down a very sensible guitar lead.  Personally, I think bands playing this style of music needs to incorporate more guitar solos and leads into songs.  It's something I've felt for awhile so I have no problem with BENCHPRESS taking advantage of Donnie being a shredder.  Onward to the next song, "Better."  This song is fast, energetic, rageful, and not going to make your ashamed to get in a east coast circle pit.  I don't want to call the 4th track, Grudges a "filler track."  But to me there isn't really anything noteworthy going on in the song for me.  It's still a solid song and deserves it's place on the album.  Every band has a "love/girl" song.  And Misery is BENCHPRESS's.  The lyrics clearly seem to be about a break-up.  "Don't get it twisted" though, because there is absolutely nothing soft about this song at all.  Donnie again incorporating a killer lead at the end of the song bringing it all together to set up for the last track "Stay Hated."  The title track is the best on the album in my opinion.  Everything seems to be on point.  The song seems to be about doing what you do.  Being yourself and giving 0 fucks if people hate you because of who you are.  Ryan's backing vocals toward the end of the song is easily my favorite part of the whole EP.  It's dead on and almost gives you chills.  All in all, Carson Slovak seem to do a good job with the production.  I don't think I've heard any thing else he did but nothing seems to get lost in the mix and you can hear everything clearly.  I'll give it a 4/5.  It's a solid debut release and it shows a lot of promise.  The EP will be posted on Toxicbreeds Funhouse after the release show with Doubledealer and Burdens on March 10.  Look out for it.  But for now, check out two tracks on their facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/BENCHPRESS666?sk=app_178091127385