Today, I’ll talk about one of those records that went under my radar during 2020. Vicious Existence is a debut extended play by Choice To Make, a hardcore quintet that shares members from Wilkes Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania. Choice To Make previously released a demo 7” in 2018 and a promo cassette EP in 2019. The group is nurturing such a specific sound performed by so many bands, but with more ferociousness, intensity, and dynamics. Somehow they managed to capture the distinctive mid-eighties to late-eighties crossover thrash sound, without being completely fast and devoted to the thrash metal music like the bands from that era, then they infused their admiration to nineties hardcore music into it as well.
You’ll hear a strong resemblance with the Cro-Mags, Killing Time, Leeway, Agnostic Front, Underdog, or at least legendary records like Age Of Quarrel, One Voice, Cause For Alarm, Born To Expire, Brightside, and Vanishing Point have inspired Choice To Make at some points. Still, the group articulates in such a specific way, which I haven’t heard among newer hardcore groups for a very long time. The song structures, arrangements, and old school sounding production are vividly resembling the mid-eighties to mid-nineties era when this style was popular the most. However, this particular style of hardcore music experienced a well-deserved revival in the most recent years, which seemed like a necessary move, in my honest opinion.
Vicious Existence contains six energetic hardcore numbers, which serve as a perfect throwback to the golden era for crossover thrash/hardcore music. You’ll probably spin this material couple of times, mainly because of the specific retro-sounding ambiance, catchy guitar riffs, and intense dynamics. This material includes healthy dosages of rage and power, which adequately fit in these times. Vicious Existence comes on a mint green with black splatter vinyl limited to 100 copies. The vinyl sold out already, but you can purchase a digital download via Bandcamp. Head over to Flatspot Records for more detailed info about this release.