Song of the Day

Spring Tide, “Set Out,” from Angles (MA Glory Records, 2020)

Seeing as the ongoing Black Mirror episode that is 2020 rolls on undeterred, I've imbued far too much meaning in the art of the past half year, scanning lyrics and song titles for prescient soothsaying or erudite takes on what we’re collectively living. That said, I still find it difficult to divorce myself from the feeling that certain bands have tapped into a burgeoning and assured rebirth.

That New Bedford hardcore band Spring Tide released Angles in the pandemic’s halcyon days, aka March, is t enough to dissuade me.

The band’s latest EP, released via MA Glory, finds the band at their peak. The seasonal references hardly stop at the chosen moniker of the Massachusetts hardcore band. Instead, a bit of their unique sound honors the season to which their chosen spring must ultimately concede.

The summer in question, of course, is that of 1985 in DC, that much-lauded wellspring that gifted us Embrace is a good starting point for Spring Tide, but they bring an earnest and intense sense of urgency befitting of uncertainty. There’s scant information out there on the quickly rising and essential band.

Fittingly, the Secret City act lets their music do the talking. All credit for this find goes to the pulse pressers at Axe to Grind. Respect. 

Song of the Day “Set Out” starts with a slowly grinding and deliberate riff. Their sound is fortified with what’s perhaps my favorite vocal performance of the year. The song’s backbone is the call and response, dueling sensibility created by sporting two singers.

Spring Tide manages to alternate expertly between the “gargling with gravel” vibes of Fuel for the Hate Game-era Hot Water Music and something even more desperate and breathless.

When at last the tick-tocking of the first minute explodes into something a bit more rousing, it’s immediately exhilarating, if not bracing. There’s a hint of the mid-tempo and wildly creative melody of Embrace or One Last Wish, but Spring Tide’s insistence lands them somewhere between Gainesville and the Capital City.

There’s a grit to their sound that would enthrall fans of GIVE, Rule Them All, Remission, Praise, and Stages in Faith. 

The band fuses the jangly and hyper melodic with what, at its core, is hardcore punk. They eschew the dense and near jazzy rhythms of Fugazi or the aforementioned and bearded pride of Gainesville for straightforward and driving punk that doesn’t mind a glance backward.

Lyrically, they manage that difficult to find space between vague and universal, perhaps masking the deeply personal behind the cryptic. Peppered strands of hope and the refusal of resignation, it again lives a bit in No Idea Records territory in that it’s on just the right edge of bummer punk.

I even hear bits of Fuel’s landmark Monuments to Excess, and, in the care of the self-described “deck hands," you’re covered. This is thrilling and necessary, no matter the season. 

Tagged: spring tide