Are These Our Lives?
As requisite to the genre as it may seem, goosebump-inducing conviction in hardcore can go a long way these days, no matter how familiar the sounds may be. Take Trial, for example. Aesthetically, the Seattle band’s Are These Our Lives? won’t stick out in a tightly moshed group of post-’88 hardcore LPs, but the immense power and precision contained therein is more than enough to make Trial a worthy contender to the hallowed throne (occupied by who, is the question). And like any politically conscious hardcore crew, Trial may not have all the answers but does ask a good deal of poignant questions, possibly aided by a diverse group of writers excerpted on the album’s lyric sheet — everyone from Nietzsche and Goethe to Mikhail Bakunin and Howard Zinn. Every element (lyrics, songwriting, production, etc.) of Are These Our Lives? couldn’t be any tighter, and you really can’t ask too much more from a hardcore record.
Equal Vision Records, P.O. Box 14, Hudson, NY 12534; http://www.equalvision.com