Rufio MCMLXXXV (1985)

Joining an already way-too-long list of melodic hardcore bands emanating from Southern California is a risky proposition. Between the collected works of all the bands on Fat and Epitaph, you have to wonder if there's any possibility of originality left in the genre. On their sophomore disc, Rancho Cucamonga's Rufio proves that with a little effort, it can be done. Utilising the same general approach to their music as bands like Strung Out, Ten Foot Pole and Sum 41, they take duelling Iron Maiden riffery and apply a heaping dose of teen angst to come up with something that while sounding familiar is just different enough to make it work. But just barely. Perhaps with time their sound will evolve into something even more identifiable. (Nitro)