The Last Stand, This Is Real (Irish Voodoo Records, 2017)

The Last Stand is comprised of three former members of straight edge hardcore act Shutdown (bassist Dion De Nardo, guitarist Stephen Della Croce, and drummer Jimmy McCormack) and vocalist Michael Scondotto, a musician you might also know from his work in Inhuman and Confusion.

This Is Real is The Last Stand's first collection of songs since releasing their The Time Is Now album back in 2013. The band play a lean and mean brand of hardcore that doesn't betray their NYHC roots. This isn't the kind of group that fusses up their arrangements with feats of technical wizardy. Instead, the new songs on this EP put catchiness and punchiness smack in the center of what they're doing.

On a track like "Path of the Righteous," Scondotto and crew put together a jam that will unquestionably whip up crowds into a singalong pile-on when they perform it live. The band does this sort of thing really well. Hardcore will always have room for the sound The Last Stand are putting together.

As a bonus, the CD and digital versions of the EP will include The Last Stand's versions of Youth of Today's "Choose to Be" and Gorilla Biscuits' "Big Mouth." Hardcore bands covering hardcore songs isn't something that appeals to me most of the time, but the Brooklyn boys deliver on both versions. 

If you're looking for hardcore that isn't afraid to be hooky, This Is Real will do the trick.

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Tagged: hardcore, the last stand band