Thousand Mile Stare
(Closed Casket Activities)
Every once in a while a record comes out of nowhere and actually blows you away with how damn good it is. It’s even more impressive when it’s a hardcore record, a style that has seen an impressive resurgence lately, but not one with a whole lot of modern classics. Well, Thousand Mile Stare has all of the elements to be just that: the best hardcore record of the past five years. New York’s Incendiary have always been known for their quality New York/Long Island metallic hardcore style, but with long delays between records that never quite reached excellence, the group’s latest is quite an achievement. So what makes Thousand Mile Stare a modern classic?
Everything. End of review.
Okay, I’ll bite. First, vocalist Brandan Garrone’s fiery vocal delivery is the perfect vessel for a record fueled by dissent. Garrone’s voice is certainly reminiscent of Zach de la Rocha, and his impassioned lyrics help the comparison stand up. Incendiary have something to say, both about the world at large and Garrone’s personal demons, and the vocal fire helps drive the band’s points home.
It also doesn’t hurt that the band’s songwriting is absolutely stellar (yes, you can say that about a hardcore record). So many of these tracks contain build-ups and/or breakdowns, but all of them feel unique and earned, like the songs swell up to their natural conclusions. The band stepped up the technicality and brutality, which enlivens the record and gives it more flair. Despite a similar overall framework, each of the songs feels distinct and contains some lyrical and musical hook that roots itself in your noggin.
It’s impossible not to be impressed with Incendiary’s growth, and the result is one of the most vitriolic and fun hardcore records in recent memory.