Review by Monty Sewell for MPM
The anthemic chaos that is ComeBack Kid drills itself once more to the innards of hardcore punk as they release their seventh studio album, Heavy Steps.
With a twenty year back catalogue of ragers, it was a much welcomed pleasure to be immersed again in their sharp as ever work.
Recorded in hometown Winnipeg and released through Nuclear Blast Records, Heavy Steps is a mild far cry from their divisive last album Outsider and a shout out to the original eruption of lethal band appetite that defined their early records.
The albums title track hosts a glorious, laddering back-riff that blows the chorus out in monumental proportions. To this day, vocalist Andrew Neufeld cannot be faulted as one of a dexterous kind.
His seemingly constant battle to outdo himself – whether it be against every countless harmony or seeing how many varying versions of himself he can fit into one song – has never ceased to impatiently amaze me. ‘I’ll be the last to fall!’ spits out as the last line of ‘Heavy Steps’. Extremely pre-empting and very un-ironic.
Now, if you’ve ever been to any of Comeback Kid gigs you’ll very much agree with the next tracks title, ‘No Easy Way Out’. Chase Brenneman chugs his dragon base on the rhythm line like a provoked beast tearing out from his cave as Jeremy Hiebert leads the way with his steel beaten licks.
The bands easy capability to pull in on the metal scene as well as their own is evident in songs such as ‘Face The Fire’ which features a beautiful sludge bridge that just hook and lines a sense of inveigling dark dread.
Then, from behind the bands’ fogged up windscreen from which their metal edge eagerly awaits, appears Joe Duplantier. The renowned producer lends his guitar and vocals skills to ‘Crossed’.
It thrusts its way to the forefront of the albums lyrically bound sweetness, emoting the same punk fury that first captured Comeback Kids audience in all its societal wrath. Another collaboration comes with JJ Peters on ‘Everything Relates’. Though not as obviously outspoken in the mix as Duplantier, Peters offers his well-fitting range on this punk charged number.
‘Dead On The Fence’ is served up on a platter of mosh pit mayhem and staggered vocal screams to which one can only imagine being battered in the pit to. Hiebert’s sinisterly toned overdubs discombobulate the listener, luring them to be lost within its craze.
Complete with Loren Legare’s customary double kick drum, the track just writhes around in all its beguiling filth. ‘Shadow of A Doubt’ continues this trend as it grips onto that fantastical mixture of half/double time glory, self crowning itself as a certain highlight on the record.
‘True To Form’ and ‘In Between’ share the same grandiose openings of melodic clunk. The entirety of Heavy Steps never not once showing signs of slowing down and even when it does, it doesn’t.
‘Standstill’ erects itself as one of the more memorable moments on the album, putting the fast and the furious to guilty shame. ‘Menacing Weight’ immaculately ties up the whole charade with every aspect the very essence of Comeback Kid. Showcasing another reason why no one can ever quite rival their unremitting knack for a crowd chanting chorus.
It’s moments like these that fuel their audience who continue to raise their fists and swear loyalty to the Canadian powerhouse punkers.
Exhausted but invigorated, I can honestly say Heavy Steps trumps their last few albums with honour and sweat drenched strength. Comeback Kid never waste a breath, with every song rarely stepping over the three minute marker, leaving each aftertaste salivating for more.
Their one gig here in London – due to be at the end of January – was unfortunately cancelled. But Heavy Steps is more than enough to keep the bands’ faithful devotee’s satisfied until the guys are able to safely take a trip across the pond.
The album may mark their twentieth year as a band but it’s easy to forget the longevity of Comeback Kid when they sound as raw and as fresh as they do here.
Order/Listen to the new album HEAVY STEPS now: https://bfan.link/CBK-heavysteps-albu…
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