Featuring vocalist Joe Nelson (Ignite, Triggerman, The Killing Flame), drummer Pat Longrie (Uniform Choice, Unity), bassist Mike Kenyon, and guitarist Joe D. Foster (Unity, Ignite, Speak 714, LastLight), expectations are certainly high for Winds of Promise, the latest band to come out of the hallowed Orange County, CA hardcore scene.
Winds of Promise's origin story actually goes back to the mid-'80s when Longrie and Foster's previous band, Unity, broke up. They wrote some new songs and chose their new moniker, but the material would end up landing on records by Uniform Choice and No For An Answer. While the first attempt of the group didn't last, Longrie and Foster remained friends throughout the years and rekindled their musical connection in 2017, eventually bringing in Nelson and Kenyon to the fold.
Fusing their love for '80s DC-styled hardcore with their California punk roots, Winds of Promise write and perform the kind of tunes that have equal amounts of melody and grit. The band will be releasing their self-titled debut album this fall and I'm happy to bring you the first taste of the collection in the form of "Worn," the record's second cut.
"'Worn' was either the second or third song we recorded for the album," vocalist Joe Nelson — who played with Joe D. Foster in both Ignite and The Killing Flame — told me about the track. "Before writing lyrics to all songs, we uniformly agreed as a band to keep the songs in more of an emotional space as opposed to a socio/political one. We wanted the songs to be presented in a manner where anybody could hopefully find something inside them which resonates. Therefore, the lyrics are intentionally opaque. That doesn’t mean they’re not specifically about something. However, they’re just constructed in a manner where different people might get different meanings out of them.
"So, in the spirit of all that we wrote 'Worn,' which to us is basically about growing old, finding comfort in your own skin, and then from there forging a path forward. The line 'There are no answers only choices' is also probably my favorite on the whole album."
I spent a few hours earlier this year with Winds of Promise as they tracked their album and the stuff was sounding killer, but listening to it now in its finalized version I can tell you that if you're into bands like Rites of Spring and Soul Side, you'll be very pleased.
"While the music sounds fresh, energetic, progressive and powerful, with a lot of breaks and singalong melodies, callbacks, and influences to classic hardcore and punk bands such as Fugazi, Embrace, Dag Nasty and Rites Of Spring can be heard in their songs too," Pat Longrie says about Winds of Promise. The guy ain't fibbing.
Winds of Promise will be out in October via Unity Worldwide Records and Wishingwell Records. The LP will be presented in a deluxe gatefold jacket, with a two-sided, 11” x 17” poster. All proceeds from the album's sales will be donated to the Guardian Angel project of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
For more information on the album release and Winds of Promise, check out the links below: