Hardcore, Punk, Thrash Metal

Drain – Living Proof (Review)

Bands: Drain
Release: Living Proof
Genre: Hardcore/Crossover
Country: USA
Release Date:5th of May, 2023
Released viaEpitaph
Cover ArtworkSilvio Capoferri

California’s cursed sons Drain return with one of, if not the most anticipated hardcore record in 2023. While quickly gaining traction after the release of their numerous EP’s as well as the critically acclaimed debut LP California Cursed in 2020, the hype surrounding Drain lead to the band headlining the notorious Sound & Fury in 2022, making nearly 6000 hardcore kids go completely apeshit. Promoting Living Proofs upcoming release during this years comeback of the Rebellion Tour, most attendants of those shows would agree that the mentioned hype prefectly translated to the European crowd as well.

With their newest record on Epitaph, while staying true to the genres roots in execution and aesthetic, Drain manage to set the bar for the genres future even higher in amping up the fun and adding several other influences to their sound.

Right from the opening seconds of “Run Your Luck”, you’re thrown straight into the pit as the pummeling rhythms and agressive opening vocals hit you right in the face. The known mix of tradtional groove centered hardcore, heavy mosh parts and crossover thrash still gets you energized in no time and barely lets up throughout the album’s 23 min runtime. Highlight tracks on here come in form of the infectious groove of “Weight of The World”, opening the second half after the album’s aptly titled but ultimately skippable “Intermission”, highly energized single “Evil Finds Light” and the record’s closer in form of its title track which makes you wish for more usage of the prominet cowbell. While the album’s production by renowned God’s Hate and Twitching Tongues affiliate Taylor Young packs a lot of punch, there are things that the record leaves to be desired though.

While there is no question, that these songs will be lighting up any crowd in no time, the album’s runtime is rather short for a full length LP. Especially when you consider a hip hop infused interlude (Intermission is not quite reaching its potential), a more than competent and welcomed surprise cover of the DescendantsGood Good Things” and the closer’s two minutes of fade out make up a quarter of the album’s total run time. That makes up roughly 18 minutes of new music on a full priced LP, with 4 singles being pre-released. In today’s industry, while being in line with the latest developments in the music business, this is at least a questionable choice by the band’s label.

Ultimately, the gang around vocalist Sam Ciaramitaro (who genuinely has to be one of the industries nicest people ever) delivers a more than fun record with Living Proof and also show signs of breaching out of the genres boundaries with the addition of Hip Hop and Pop-Punk influences. If there ever was a perfect summer time hardcore record, this is it. You just can’t help but love these guys and their unique blend of hardcore. So, if you ever questioned the relevance of today’s hardcore scene, go see Drain live, they’re living proof.

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