In an astoundingly potent year for hardcore that is seeing beautiful and passionate efforts from so many bands from Gel to Fiddlehead to the upcoming Filth Is Eternal release, the return of Connecticut hardcore band With Honor is still a cause to celebrate.
The melodic and propulsive high-energy blasts the group excels at remain as strong as ever on the positivity titled Boundless (Pure Noise Records). Having loved bands like 108 and Shelter growing up, who made me believe in zooming out and looking at the bigger picture, this release having an eye on possibility was welcome to me.
“The Weight” is up there for comeback anthem of the year, the band clobbering it with a message of having all you need within yourself and knowing what you have, and most tracks have a beautiful melodic thread that is paired with the brand of fast and direct post-hardcore the group thrive at. One of the loveliest strengths of the record is that while the band are honoring (no pun intended) where they come from, like Soundgarden with their epic King Animal era, they aren’t content to just be present and have made strides to make new art. If you are living the life and the hardcore ethics, it should come naturally!
“Nonviolent Redemption” discusses the challenges of peaceful discussion and underscores economic pain and exploitation without making excuses for people who are being shitty. That said, sometimes you have to punch a nazi to protect the marginalized, dudes – not that I want a civil war, though…
“Sovereignty Of Soul” talks about waking up in sweat and wanting to forget plenty, while the drums fire along and the band create a relatable energy. While some of the songs blend together and the band is not stylistically that broad, they have made an admirable and philosophical record brimming with drive and compassion. It also really focuses on not waiting for opportunity to fade and paying attention to why every day is special, something we all could do to be reminded.
There are so many bands thriving in punk and hardcore right now and it is truly rad to think of With Honor getting back into the mix more. An injection of wisdom and positivity into the scene from guys who have always tried to make music from the heart can’t ever be a bad thing, right?
With Honor prove the culture can last and have something to say for subsequent chapters in a punk rock life well lived.
Buy the album here:
7 / 10
MORGAN Y. EVANS