A horrible hack

Reactionary 3 - True North


Year Released: 2006
Format: LP
Label: Obscurist
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Reactionary 3 and Bullets In truly revive my love of hardcore. These two bands are so blisteringly good, that I feel guilty and ashamed for retreating into a world of quiet, vocal-less music in the evening to wind down. Because all I really need to do is stick on a record by those bands and feel the blood pumping back into my veins - ready to dance like a right idiot and have a great time. Inspirational bands both.

This is Reactionary 3's first release in some time, but it is well received - a truly powerful blast of offkilter hardcore that is almost impossible to pin down. Ramshackle to the core, its the sound of 3 people who been locked in a room with all exits sealed, having been told that the only way to escape is to create the world record for sweating and falling over. The first song belts along frantically and keels over in a delerious mid-west emo twinkle at the last. Killer. And then there's more. I don't know where it all comes from. Everything is played at a pace with the band clinging onto the song structure for dear life, the wind whistling in their hair as a wheel falls off and over the edge of a cliff. Wheeeeeee! "3 Mile Radius Blues" is ridiculous. I am drumming my arms off. And all this while you get the irrepressible vocals of Travis Fristoe, coming on like Jon Vance with a bit of a sore throat and a bus to catch. And thats as close as you'll get to a comparison. R3 occupies a highly vacant area in the hardcore spectrum, flanked by Moss Icon and Universal Order of Armageddon. At the start of one song there is a sample "Never said it'd be like this, right?" - which is off a Hated record. I don't know if its some obscure film sample, of just a Hated sample. Anyways, if you have good taste in emo, then this is seriously going to blow your mind. UTTERLY, and I mean UTTERLY, essential hardcore.

On the other side we have True North. I was listening to their demo in my car the other week, and it was good uns. I remembered that I hadn't really been into anything that they had released since the first LP. Time to correct that, their side of this split is damn solid, tight and infectious Gainesville punk / hc, with great sung vocals from that dude who used to be in 12 Hour Turn. The songs are incredibly tight, with big grooves and hefty rock outs. Its got a bit of a mathy DC feel to it I guess in places, although they don't dispense with all the elements that made me like this band in the first place. "Minor League, Major Friend" in particular flies along at almost Assfactor-esque pace sometimes, although the iron grip that they have on their music would prevent such a comparison. It builds up into a sprawling finale that brings to mind Rites of Spring with powerful sung vocals and bruising guitar. Things are brought to a special close on "Counsel My Council", where one of the singers sounds so impossibly like Spencer Rangitsch from the Shivering that I have to scan their insert to convince me its not him. Crazy. The insert doesn't help answer the question.

Great split. True North do a good job with their side, but R3 get me excited about this kind of music good and proper. Yay!

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