We Are – Cloak/Dagger

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This is some smokin’ hardcore the likes of which I haven’t heard in ages. The first song, “Bended Knee,” comes as close in precision-cutting to an early Bad Brains song as any band ever has. It is un-fucking-believably good. “Kamikazes” and “New Year’s Resolution” are also exceptional, unembellished, nose to the grindstone, old school hardcore that lean to the left (the punk side) as opposed to the right (the metal side). Jason Mazolla’s caustic vocals on the opener and “Set The Alarm” are as tough as anything on any punk record I’ve heard this year. The incessant dirty buzzsaw guitar and the tight production are a breath of fresh air from all the stale, bloated, over-produced dreck that floats by like so much pre-digested sewage. Good quality punk is still out there, and it's sad that so few of the aesthetically-challenged teenagers today won’t go looking for it.