Pro-Pain Age of Tyranny

A hundred studio albums in (okay, ten), New York’s Pro-Pain are still at it and, somewhat amazingly, still manage to sound vital. With their no-nonsense, beefy metallic hardcore fuelled by Gary Meskil’s great barking vocals, they’ve managed to once again create an album that is full of uplifting and upbeat anthems. Sure, sometimes it’s unclear what the anthems are all about — sometimes it’s your basic everyday rage, other times it’s full-on American patriotism, I think — but hey, it sounds great. The band offer up a couple twists with some great melodic backing vocals in "All for King George” and another interesting move that works well, the addition of female vocals in one of the disc’s best cuts, "Beyond the Pale.” But apart from that, it’s the usual bass-heavy, groove-laden, simplistic hardcore that only these lovable lug nuts can pump out without sounding too cheesy. "The New Reality” is right behind Sick of It All’s picture-perfect hardcore anthem "Take the Night Off” for this year’s best inspirational song with repeated usage of "fuck.” "Iraqnam” is a great plodder and closer "Live Free (or Die Trying)” makes the listener want to put the disc back on once it’s all over. It’s been 15 years since this band started, and while they’ve been consistently puttering away on the sidelines, it’s time to admit that they deserve a bit more. (Candlelight)