Thirty-two Frames – S/T

When reviewing the latest hardcore release, it’s easy to dismiss the record before giving it a chance. Hardcore is a genre in which the majority of bands seem to thrive on using tried and true styles that come off like old hat. Knowing this, one often doesn’t expect to be blown away when taking a listen to the latest release from the genre. At the same time, this form of expression is not usually about the music. It’s about feeling, passion, having a voice, and speaking one’s mind. Many times the music is merely a background for the ideas from the members of a band.
Thirty-two Frames falls under the same category as the majority of hardcore acts. Nothing truly separates them in terms of style. The band does not get many points for originality. They sound like pretty much every other modern hardcore band with a melodic twist. Think By the Grace of God meets Bad Religion. However, their lack of musical invention doesn’t mean that their work should be dismissed.
The band performs their material with vigor and punch. One can sense that these songs come from the heart of the group and that feeling comes through loud and clear throughout the recording. The songs tend to deal with the lives of Native Americans and the corruption of religious institutions. With titles like “Chippewa” and “Saints Stolen,” the band’s topical choices are up front for the listener to see.
“Crow/Sioux War” opens the record with a powerful burst of guitar and rhythm that builds quickly to an explosion of fast-paced, old-school hardcore chords and breakdowns. The vocals kick in shortly after the rapid intro. They are sung in the mold that one would expect for this type of group – loud and energetic, yet melodic. “Saints Stolen” pulls back the pace a bit and allows the anger expressed by the band to come off even more ferociously. The vocals have a rougher feel on this number, and the other members of the band match that tone with their raw playing. The rest of the tracks fall somewhere in between these two. None of them stray too far from the basic hardcore structure.
Thirty-two Frames is a band that definitely has potential. Their lyrics are thought-provoking and angry, even if some of the topics have been well covered in the past. Nonetheless, they translate their frustration into their music very well – something of a must for a good hardcore group. What matters the most is that these tunes come from the heart. With the backing of a label like Revelation, expect big things from these guys.