I’m a fan of hardcore, but it’s a saturated and stale genre with a lack of ambition. Since Code Orange ripped it up and thrust new life into the genre with their album Forever in 2017, there have ben a plethora of bands who have tried to emulate their sound. Ithaca, who are signed to Holy Roar Records, grew tired of this lack of inspiration, and they bring with them a varied range of influences including Southern Doom and math rock. Their new album, ‘The Language of Injury’ is out in February, and I’m excited to see if they can turn hardcore on its head.
I think the beautiful thing about this album is that while it is a hardcore record, it does not sound like one. It is still heavy, with the title track containing a melodic chorus and bruising guitars. The screaming is passionate and the wall of guitars give the instruments plenty of room. ‘Impulse Crush’ features a screeching guitar, which then transitions into a Southern Doom-style riff. This works well because it shows the band bringing something different to the table.
I also liked how the interlude, ‘No Translation’ had a beautiful clean guitar, it was a welcome change of pace. ‘Youth Vs Wisdom’ is in your face and heavy. At one minute and forty five seconds long it is fast and equally ferocious. The atmospheric parts work very well too, such as on the last track ‘Better Abuse.’ It features guitar drenched in tremolo as the final crushing riff hits you in the chest, and brings a melancholic feeling to the album.
For a debut album, this brings the best parts of hardcore and combines them with other influences. It’s not your usual hardcore record, but one that will make people sit up and take notice that there’s something refreshing out there.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos