To tap into the present moment while simultaneously avoiding its pitfalls is no easy task, but on their debut LP Echo Planet, San Diego’s Negative Blast make it look easy. Engineered and mixed by the band’s own Alex Jacobelli at Sunsick Studios, mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and releasing on Quiet Panic Records, Echo Planet is a fully realized, layered, and expertly crafted slab of hardcore punk that is both unconcerned with convention and deeply reverent of the genre’s roots.
The members’ musical pedigree runs the gamut from 2000s hardcore stalwarts Lewd Acts and Hour of the Wolf to innovative post-punk act [CON•TACT], with the recent addition of Mario Rubalcaba throwing Hot Snakes, Earthless, OFF!, and more into an already impressive list of bona fides. Boasting those qualifications, it’s no surprise that Negative Blast are as precise as they are left of center. With a knack for mid-tempo dirge that evokes My War-era Black Flag or Pissed Jeans and a darkly atmospheric melodic sensibility that calls to mind contemporary acts such as Gel, Negative Blast are at once of the moment and outside of it entirely. Where other bands might eschew melody, Negative Blast employ it as a foil to their naked aggression, resulting in a sonic push and pull that keeps every second of Echo Planet’s sub-20 minute runtime exciting and engaging.
Hardcore is a thing that is perpetually in motion against itself—Steeped in the tradition it seeks to uproot. In less capable hands, that duality can result in either a boring rehash or art for its own sake that loses the plot. But on Echo Planet, Negative Blast have masterfully shaped those contradictions into something that is as happy to make you think as it is to punch you in the teeth, and it excels equally at both.
250 x Opaque Galaxy in red and black (indie store exclusive)
250 x Translucent Galaxy in green and black
500 x Apple
01. Boy Blues
02. Trauma Bond
03. Carbon Copy
04. Bad Trip
05. Echo Planet
06. No Trust
07. King of Vancouver