The Difference Between Hell and Home

BY Max DeneauPublished Jul 24, 2013

Counterparts play warm, sentimental hardcore with a focus on layered melody and rhythmic complexity. While their debut featured a more metalcore sound, their follow-up strips down their approach considerably, with their latest effort striking a keen balance between the two without coming across as a needless regression. A clear reference point is Shai Hulud, although Counterparts' songwriting is less convoluted and spruces things up by borrowing from the up-tempo, punkier tendencies of Comeback Kid or Killing the Dream. Elsewhere, elements of mid-'00s post-hardcore appear sparingly, despite the group's relative focus on pit-friendly aggression and shifting, percussive dynamics. All of this is complemented by a sufficiently punchy mix that comes across as gloriously under-produced compared to what one would expect from a Victory act. While there isn't much on display that will impress those with little desire for more of the same, genre buffs or fans of Counterparts' first two full-lengths will find the absence of filler and spirited momentum more than agreeable.

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