Regional Justice Center Deliver Plenty of 'Crime and Punishment' in 13 Minutes
Published Mar 04, 2021Regional Justice Center are as straightforward as heavy bands come. They are all about their blast beats contrasting against slow plodding riffs. With new album Crime and Punishment clocking in at only 13 minutes, there is surprisingly plenty on this record that requires listeners to come back to and contemplate. It's a heavy record that can be enjoyed on a multitude of levels.
It is hard not to draw a comparison to the band Nails — Crime and Punishment was produced by Nails drummer Taylor Young. The result is something more sonically punishing and dense from anything else in either band's catalogues. From a riff standpoint, everything is predicated on being as heavy as possible without completely sacrificing melody. Crime and Punishment is a record full of interesting riffs throughout, like on "Absence" and "Concrete." The best riff on the album belongs to album closer "...And Punishment," which evokes feelings of complete dread.
The crux of what Regional Justice Center is can be found in Ian Shelton's lyrics. As is the case with most of the band's discography, Crime and Punishment is a concept album broken into two parts: the first half is about cause; the second, effect. Songs like "Taught to Steal" and "Sickness on Display" depict intimate stories of personal strife without burying the meaning of these songs in metaphor. Perhaps nothing is clearer than "...And Punishment" where the line "Meant to thrive, left to die" leaves very little to the imagination. Shelton's raw and strained vocal delivery adds much needed contrast against the band's bludgeoning riffs.
Regional Justice Center have been on a roll, and improving with each subsequent release. Crime and Punishment furthers Regional Justice Center's trajectory to being one of the best current hardcore bands out there, while also leaving plenty of room for experimentation. For a hardcore record that is all about heaviness and riffs, Regional Justice Center's Crime and Punishment delivers on all fronts. (Closed Casket Activities)