Featuring Scott Vogel of hardcore purists Terror, among others, World Be Free (named after US basketballist Jeremy Free who changed his name to World B Free in the eighties, fact fans!) have stumbled across a formula to deliver a near-perfect cross-generational, cross cultural hardcore album that, on the face of it, could actually be the perfect record of its type.
Like something put together by a huge-brained computer or evil scientists bent on hardcore domination, WBF have managed what not many have done before, to synthesis the braggadocio laden, strength-over-all bravado of bands like, well, Terror, actually, together with happier, more harmonically fortunate material (highlight track I’m Done could have, despite Vogel’s delivery, have found its way onto a CIV or Shelter album in the nineties). I’m sure the presence of Rival Schools man Walter Schreifels on that track has something to do with that, but, overall, there’s a much more positive, upbeat vibe on offer here to your average Terror outing.
Props are massively due also to Gorilla Biscuits alumnus Arthur Smilios on the bass; his work drives tracks like What I See in true great hardcore style, whilst Despair/Envy guitarist Joe Garlipp provides the sort of aggressive axework you’d expect.
Actually, picking out I’m Done as the highlight just because it’s the most melodic is a bit foolish; more aggressive numbers like Sammy’s Mirror and titanic album closer Counting Vices are just as good, majorly thanks to the propulsive drumming of CIV’s Sammy Siegler and a frankly brilliant vocalS from Vogel.
There is, to coin a phrase, something for everyone on The Anti-Circle, and I know I for one will be returning to this album again and again over the coming months. Neither too aggresive nor too twee, they’ve struck a happy hardcore medium with this one. It’s a keeper, for sure.