Between the new music coming out of North Carolina and South Florida, the rise of Trail of Lies and the continued success of a band like Freedom; Straight edge music is alive and well from all angles in 2018. Soul Power from San Diego, CA joins this wave with their debut 7”, The Low End Fury.
I got to check this offering out a little early and break down what these SD players have in store for the world.
What stands out for me on this record is two things: the first is the guitar tone not usually opted for in regards to this style of hardcore and the second is the particular vocal delivery. The guitarist (Jose Gonzales) applies a refreshing take on writing Youth Crew music that doesn’t come across as trying to be a carbon copy of bands from the late '80s. From the particular tone, to the choice in strumming patterns and structures, Soul Power sounds new, not like a recreation of a band long since defunct. Paired with this, the vocals have a twinge of Raybeez or Ray Cappo in their sound, but not enough to be overpowering or too blatant. They go from very clear to a growl effortlessly, it comes off very organic.
The strongest tracks are either “Chain Drop” or “The Ballad (Or the Bullet)“. The latter is an example of a textbook fun and well-written hardcore song. It has a verse with a bounce to it that is almost hip-hop in nature, a couple separate obvious sing-a-long parts and features guest spots from Soul Power’s guitarist, Jose (he's also the vocalist of Mizery), and Nick, the band's bassist (who is also the vocalist of Wise). Right as the song ends I’m immediately hit with the urge to start the track over. They chose a solid closer for a good debut record.
Soul Power isn’t reinventing the wheel, but they don’t appear to be trying to. Where the originality of The Low End Fury lies, is in its presentation. The visuals for the record and the specific choice in tones and structures are something their own. Some say “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it," Soul Power says: “It may not be broke but we are going to do what we can to make it look way cooler.”
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