Falling Cycle The Conflict

California's Falling Cycle plays fairly convincing hardcore, by way of Gothenburg, on this thankfully brief album (30 minutes). The riffs are so perfect that they're kind of cheesy, but they still sound good, and the whole album has a comfortably familiar, but iffy, feel to it. The production is nice and thick, bordering on muddy, but is heavy enough to push this one out of the waters of ambiguity and into the piles of discs that will probably get forgotten about sooner than they really should. Although The Conflict is a punishing and plodding powerhouse, it seems too calculated and too buzz band-friendly to really adopt as one's collection of personal anthems. With Shadows Fall's new scorcher and In Flames' latest coming out at the same time as this, Falling Cycle are sure to be left behind, this time anyway, and life will go on just fine. (Facedown)