Drain – “California Cursed” LP
A new band on the Revelation Records roster is always an event that requires your attention: first off, as you would expect with this label, the recording and production values are top notch (you might not like everything Rev has released over the years, but try finding a label that is as consistently great when it comes to sound/studio quality). Based in Santa Cruz, California – the same town that over the decades has given us Bl’ast! and Good Riddance (and, um, the Lost Boys movie) – Drain’s approach to hardcore punk is to pummel you with metallic riffs and hard-rocking beats, fronted by expressive vocals from a singer who sounds pretty live-wired. There’s a touch of East Coast hardcore, old and new (Judge, Cro-Mags, Trapped Under Ice, Incendiary), with Californian angst and an athletic bounce (Rotting Out, Hands Of God, Gulch, and back in time: Excel, Suicidal Tendencies, Attitude Adjustment). Serious intent, with a hard-edged crunch factor, this is also an album that, because of its sheer physical exhilaration, is a triumphant celebration of hard-rocking power. Great fun. This is the second press, stickered as ‘color vinyl’ – it should be yellow.