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Review for "301.9" by Jason Crider
Printed in Second Supper- La crosse, WI 
December 2011

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Review for "301.9" by Loren Green
February 2012
 

Lasting Impression

301.9

Self Released, 2012

Hardcore really isn’t my thing.  Still, every once and a while I like to break out of my comfort zone with something different.  Lasting Impression, hailing from LaCrosse, WI, refer to themselves as “high energy hardcore.”  There are a number of scenes or bands that could be name-dropped, but sticking with the basics as they do seems a solid approach.  So what do I hear in 301.9?  To be as succinct as possible: there’s a pretty strong late 90s-early 00s influence with some metallic undertones.

The record gets underway with an intro track that sets the tone for the rest of the record: angry shouts, violent imagery, and lyrical snippets about frustration, weaknesses, and strengths.  While the tone is angry,  there’s something of a positive undercurrent.  The point-of-view tends to refer to the second-person throughout, and Ben Deml leads the vocal shouts that are often reinforced by guitarist Brian Fleming and a few guest crew voices.  Generally speaking, these are all expected components of the genre.

The energy on the record is angry and flows well, though the recording is a bit equalized—I’d like to hear more drumming in the mix to bring the energy to the forefront and give a broader dynamic range.  Still, the songwriting itself flows well from start to finish, refusing to let up, yet adequately differentiating between tracks.  Lasting Impression have a distinct sound but their songs don’t all sound the same. 

The songs are built on big hooks and shouted vocals.  Deml has a powerful voice that sounds like it will hold up well in a sweaty basement, and the songs are really built around the anthemic vocal release.  When the tempo slows, as in “Amygdala,” I tend to space out until the chant along of “How could you ever live with yourself” in “Have a Few Drinks (and Drive Home)” wakes me up.  Its uptempo beat and the gang vocals make it a memorable track that’s well placed to keep the record flowing.  Another standout is “Who Do You Think You Are,” with something of a guttural croak given to the vocals.  At points, as in “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “Arrogance Is Nothing More than a Death Wish,” the songs dwindle into musical outros after hitting climax, mixing a metallic tinge into their hooks near the song-end, straying from power chords and instead going for a rhythmic ending with a bit of a guitar lead to push it through.
6.8 / 10
by Loren on Monday 27th February 2012
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