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Toe to Toe : Rise Up

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Hardcore is an interesting scene and sound in 2017. After over 30 years of its initial emergence, the style has expanded into countless sub-genres and combinations, essentially absorbing the already massive world of punk rock and its genre variance. Though there are some that stay true to a more traditional hardcore formula – and Sydney’s Toe to Toe are one of these.  
 
The new Toe to Toe record is a solid block of hardcore on the punk side, thankfully not castrated by overdone production or metalcore breakdowns. As mainstays in the Australian hardcore scene, the band do ‘80s style hardcore with a profound legitimacy. Their new 12-track release Rise Up overall, feels chunkier in sound and production than their previous five LPs, without being convoluted. Monolith sets the tone with towering, ear-splitting riffs, which are commonplace throughout. Blacklisted feels like a straight-up hardcore jam, showcasing crushing drums and a bass line that surges with ample chug. Scott Mac’s vocals remain guttural and stoic as ever shouted –surprising given the wear and tear he’s put them through over the years. It’s not all same-same on this record either, for example with tracks like Turn Your Head Around deviating toward the punk rock end of the spectrum. For a band that’s been kicking it since the early ‘90s, Toe to Toe prove that hardcore isn’t dead, and that old school still sits at the head of the table.
 
By Jamie Pollock