by Josh L.
I've been interested in hearing something new by this band ever since enjoying a demo song last year, so I was glad to get the chance to review their first official release. This definitely delivers. The Distance play fast, no-bullshit hardcore with the standard "fuck you" attitude and a whole lot of energy. This isn't as original as I was hoping it would be, but it's solid and keeps my attention with greater ease than most releases of this sort. The whole deal starts off with some feedback (big surprise), jumps headfirst into some ripping hardcore and stays consistent for the entirety of the EP. I'm not sure this even deserves to be called an EP, though, at a ridiculously short running time of just about eight minutes. Anyway, the first thing that caught my attention was the vocals. They're definitely interesting, high-pitched but not girly and thankfully not too monotone. There's a bratty, punk quality to his voice that I much prefer over the standard low-pitched bark. Instrumentally this is typical stuff, but not at all lacking punch. It's hard-hitting, but there's nothing 'metal' about it, and it's played with enough intensity that you can easily overlook the sometimes redundant songwriting. The material isn't very creative, and accordingly could've sounded terribly bland if handled by a band that didn't know what they were doing, but The Distance breathes lots of life into it. I got a Carry On vibe from a lot of this, the latter half of the record especially, particularly on "And If". This is pretty catchy stuff, too. Nothing too blatant or 'hook'-y, but I found myself getting a few of these tunes stuck in my head from time to time. Lyrically, this is a mixed bag. Personal failure and betrayal aren't exactly unchartered waters when it comes to lyrical subject matter but the band seems genuine enough. It's not Shakespeare, but it's not garbage either. There's some CD-ROM content on here, too. The biggest extra being a video, the prescence of which took me my surprise, especially since it's a professionally made music video rather than live footage. It's your standard "band playing in an abandoned warehouse" type of thing, but I guess it works. The layout is okay. It's presented nicely in digipak form with Ron Dobi artwork, but I can't help feeling it was rushed a bit. Maybe I'm being too picky, but the track listing on the back cover and in the booklet are both screwed up, and the lyrics are rife with spelling and grammatical errors. Add onto that the link to merchdirect and clothing sponsorships and I just get a 'blah' feeling about the whole thing. But whatever, no reason to go on ranting about that. Bottom Line: The Distance have put out a good, fast, solid hardcore record. That may not seem like big news, but how many hardcore bands have debuted with an EP this good Despite the short running time and lack of originality, I really dig this stuff and will definitely be waiting to see what these guys can do with an LP worth of material. "Your Closest Enemies" doesn't break any new ground, but if you're looking for some above-par hardcore or are just a fan of Bridge 9's usual output, you really can't go wrong here.