New Jersey hardcore expositors Blind Justice have delivered an album (if you can call it that – the ten tracks on offer here clock in at around twenty minutes!) full of the usual genre tropes without really pausing to deliver anything out of the ordinary.
There’s nothing wrong with that of course. Hardcore is one of the most conservative genres on the face of the musical planet and many bands shrink from straying too far from the path for fear of being called out by ‘the scene’ for heresy; Blind Justice therefore do what they do- very well, it has to be said – preaching to the converted but not really displaying enough flair to reach out to any non believers they may come into contact with.
Cast You Out starts things off well with judicious use of gang vocals, and My Will is a vicious chugger with some nice roaming basswork from AJ Hoenings. This opening brace of tracks bodes well for the rest of the album, but sadly No Matter the Cost struggles to match this quality with sufficient regularity for it to be touted as a must-hear album; Not For You has a nice groove and some committed vocals from Mike Botti, whilst standout track Never Enough sees everything come together to produce a really exciting piece of modern hardcore. More tracks like this and we’d really be on to something.
Closing track Lessons Learned is another highlight, ending the album on a high note and at high speed and featuring great gang vocals and some angular, jagged guitar from Ryan Hoenings and Asa Scibetta.
At the end of the day, criticism is essentially meaningless to a band like Blind Justice when they’ve done everything that’s expected of them. They’ve delivered a perfectly serviceable hardcore record and, by those strictly defined parameters, No Matter the Cost is a resounding success. Outsiders like me can either take it or leave it – and, a couple of tracks notwithstanding, I think I’ll leave it this time.
No Matter The Cost will be released on June 29th.