Review by Jenny Paul
July 24, 2015 – Counterparts – Tragedy Will Find Us
As bands progress in their careers, some drastically change their sound while others maintain a high level of similarity release after release. For the members of Canadian hardcore band Counterparts, both sides of this musical spectrum are appealing. Their latest release Tragedy Will Find Us (out on Pure Noise Records) blends familiar styles showcased on their more recent releases with older, lesser known styles from the band’s beginnings on the Prophets LP. Reintroducing metallic elements to their personal melodic breed of hardcore, Counterparts has released a record sure to garner mixed responses. Why such a potentially controversial release? Let’s dissect it.
The opening track of the record, “Stillborn,” brings back nostalgic sounds of past releases, notably The Difference Between Hell And Home. Listeners hear touches of metal influence, but not enough to overpower the signature sound the band has developed over its past two LPs. As it turns out, this tinge of heavier material is merely a warmup to a few of the more metalcore-sounding tracks that follow immediately after. These numbers tend to rely more on chugging rather than melody, bringing to mind releases like Diamond by Stick To Your Guns and The Ghost Inside’s Get What You Give. Once the record reaches track #6, “Tragedy,” it seems to cool off, returning to Counterparts’ classic sound. Fans will have to decide whether they like this mixed bag of genres as they listen to the release.
There are many notable elements that make this record what it is. As always, Counterparts delivers an emotional lyrical punch. Vocalist Brendan Murphy’s agonizing cries rattle the heartstrings of listeners, fusing rage and despair sublimely and effectively. Layered atop melodic guitars and shifting keys, his vocals are a persistent driving force behind the record. While the chugging can become somewhat excessive, the harmonies present on the LP are beautiful and perfectly matched with the thunderous basslines. Similarly, while the tempo of a few tracks feels a little awkward, the overall drum work of the record is solid. “Tragedy” and “Choke” are both examples of the capabilities of this band and the above qualities; “Solace” provides the perfect ending to zip up the record. For fans looking for that classic Counterparts sound with something a little newer, Tragedy Will Find Us is the perfect release.
FFO: Stick To Your Guns, The Ghost Inside, Being As An Ocean, Capsize