The debut full-length release from ACODA begins in a frenetic and brash style, the distortion and aggression that hits you from the beginning does what an opening to an album should and that is to capture the energy of how the band performs live. What’s really striking about this as a debut album is how great the production values seem to be and how visceral the sound is.
The first track, ‘The Future Is Yours To Defend’, doesn’t let up in terms of the screeching vocals and unrepentant guitars. There’s a real sense that this track could be an opener for the band’s live set and it fantastically sets the record up for the rollercoaster ride that it is. In all honesty, the band do seem like an exciting prospect, but there are times when the clean vocals come across as bland. Take the track ‘The Ludovico Technique’, with its pulsating screams and break beat guitar rhythms, but when the clean vocals kick in it unfortunately becomes slightly tedious.
Is there anything here that’s outlandishly different or boundary shifting? Not really, but it doesn’t really matter, the band have delivered a solid hardcore/metal record with ‘Yours To Defend’ and, although the heavy vocals are much superior to the cleans, the variety probably works in the band’s favour because the album never seems to slow down, even on the more down tempo tracks like ‘Daws Heath’. That’s a song which demonstrates that the band can deliver a softer touch, which is always a good thing in that the band aren’t just going for the in-your-face approach on every single track but actually trying to mix things up somewhat.
The album offers up some delicious guitar riffs and real anguished vocals, ‘This Is Life’ shows off both of these assets and illustrates that ACODA are a band who can only get better and vary their sound even more in the future. So, all in all, it’s a solid hardcore album that will probably grow on you after three or four listens. It won’t make your eyes bulge out of your head with delight or astonishment, but it’ll definitely make you aware of a band that may have previously been under the radar.
Written by Greg Spencer