Pechblende – Collapse

Pechblende
Collapse

Pechblende could have been your typical 3-note hardcore/punk band, but thanks to their Neurosis-like breakdowns and introductions they add just enough to turn the simple into quite nearly epic. In fact, their paltry 8 song set on Collapse is all the more stretched thanks to their interesting use of grandiose parts, like the one found in the introduction to “Retain”. I swear I thought I was listening to a Pelican record. Then after such long introductions they kick into the heart of what distinguishes them from the latter mentioned bands. Their lightning fast 2/4 beats and harsh vocal delivery is reminiscent of bands like Strike Anywhere or earlier hardcore mainstays F-Minus. This stuff is fast, raw and in your face.

Songs like “Consent” and the title track don’t even surpass the 2:30 mark. “Dogma” and “Cars Make Shadows” showcase much what the band is all about the best. They are the longer tracks and they feel like their most accomplished in terms of changing from a dark doom-like sound to the fast hardcore punk that they do so well. The fillers like “Taepodong” 1 and 2 could have been omitted but they showcase some of the best musicianship the band has to offer.

As far as production value is concerned, I do appreciate the raw assault from the vocals and guitar. My only concern is that the vocals are often drowned out by the volume of the rest of the instruments. Letting Bergeron out more would improve their overall sound immensely.

I enjoyed this album quite a bit, but after my second listen I couldn’t help but realize that all the songs sound a little too similar. They are one of the best bands at changing up styles seamlessly and for that I applaud them, but how many slow intros into fast 2/4 punk rock beats can we take before it gets a little stale? Again I did enjoy Collapse but this band has massive potential to do so much more.