End the Century Hammer & The Anvil

Not unlike many of their musical counterparts, this Orange Country hardcore quintet almost seamlessly blend aggressive vocals, heavy bass lines, steady drumming and clean-edged guitar work on Hammer & The Anvil, which could be a good and bad thing. Good in that they’ve packaged what’s tried and true; bad in that the album takes very few creative risks and therefore could be easily lost amongst a pile of similar bands. Nonetheless, the mix of familiar characteristics like traditional chugging, melodic guitar and obvious influences that crisscross the realms of hardcore and rock make a track like "City Lights” enjoyable enough to pay attention to what’s going on during the rest of the album. Should the band opt for chance instead of comfort on their next album, I’m confident their appeal will skyrocket. (Independent)