Breaking onto the hardcore scene in 2013, New York’s Regulate have shown a resilient and earnest approach in everything they do. This rings true on the band’s new self-titled LP, Regulate, out today on Flatspot Records. The ten tracks on the album developed organically throughout the brunt of the pandemic, inspiring vocalist Sebastian Paba’s most personal lyrics to the date. Regulate has always been an outlet for vulnerability – the band’s latest album In the Promise of Another Tomorrow (2018) shined with commentary on identity and power structure complimented by explosive musicianship. Regulate takes the band to another level, teetering between a traditional hardcore sound and something more striking, pulling additional inspiration from Latin music and R&B. Vocalist Sebastian Paba effortlessly handles both screams and what might be the catchiest clean vocal delivery in the entire genre while pushing forth thoughts on serious topics like genocide against indigenous peoples and more light-hearted notes of just loving making music.
The fusion of sound is apparent from the get-go, as album opener “In the Moment” blends those heavy moments with a soulful hook. Lead single “Why Can’t We?” is a thrill ride as guitars shift from manic to groove-driven, while “Hair” puts emphasis on Paba’s pipes. “Ugata” provides an instrumental reprieve, showcasing the worldly influences the band have incorporated into their sound. The second half of the album leans more into Regulate’s New York Hardcore roots, highlighted by tracks like “Work” and “New York Hates You”. Both songs tackle the exploitative systems in American society, commenting on the workforce, the government, and changes to local communities. The album concludes with “C.O.P.”, a clear fuck you to the police. Powerful messages and powerful music make for a can’t beat combination, but ultimately it’s up to the listener to open their ears and their mind to take in all that Regulate has to offer.
Regulate is Sebastian Paba (vocals), Michael Botti (guitar), Jarred Chan (guitar), and Harry Corrigan (drums).