Most people don’t like it when punk or hardcore bands start fiddling with an already established sound. You can call it what you want, but most music fans are afraid of change. When a band DOES dare to explore their musical talents a little deeper your are forced to stand up and at least notice. Whether you like it or not.

Blacklisted’s newest album absolutely falls into that category. I can’t say for certain where the inspiration for this direction came from but I think it’s fair to assume Fucked Up’s “Chemistry of Common Life” was an influence at the very least. And, while that album was a critical success, just as many people were tuning it out. I don’t think you’ll see anything less than that kind of divide here. Anytime you incorporate violin, trumpet, rain stick and melodic/haunting female vocals to the formula of a hardcore band you are going to pick up a few haters along the way.

But, here’s the thing; These additions, this tweaking of the formula, they absolutely work! In a genre that can get stale and boring at times moments and albums like this one are more than a breath of fresh air, they are a god send. I’ve always been of the opinion that hardcore and punk can and should be about taking a musical chance. For Blacklisted, one of the most beloved and respected bands of the genre, to put themselves out their and their and take these kinds of chances to me is the most “punk” thing a band can do.

If you can’t respect that then I’m sure Generic Band A will release an album of repetitive breakdowns and dance parts that sounds like  a 100 other albums here pretty soon. So, maybe you should stick to that.

FINAL RATING: 5 stars (out of 5)

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