The Outer Dark (Escape Artist)

Hardcore and post-hardcore have an interesting coexistence going. All the jarhead hardcore bands seem to persist almost by instinct, without the will toward musical or philosophical evolution, let alone the ability. The post-hardcore bands, by contrast, act as though they're racing to see which of them can become a prog-rock outfit first. (Cave In's currently way ahead of the pack.)

Among the latter, Anodyne isn't in the top rank of post-hardcore screamers, but it shows a lot of promise on its second album for Escape Artist. The band isn't as jagged as Playing Enemy, it's not as polyrhythmically complex as Botch or Dillinger Escape Plan, and it's not as heavy as Converge or Keelhaul. It is worthy of attention, though, as Anodyne is a thoroughly assaultive Brooklyn trio that knows how to get in and out fast: The Outer Dark's eight songs go by in just over 23 minutes, making this disc a jolt of electricity that lingers longer in the brain and guts than the ears. It's mostly an invitation to the live show, and that's a fine rock tradition. It's also an excellent bridge between hardcore and post-hardcore, a very loud missing link exactly where one is needed.

More by Phil Freeman


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