It’s been proven that languages are much more difficult to learn the older one gets. It’s a belief held by many that after the likes of Black Flag and Minor Threat, that hardcore punk has been an endless series of diminishing returns. Photocopies of photocopies. Conversely, I’ve always had a hard time with the concept and sounds of “progressive rock.” What’s it progressing to? What is it escaping from that was so bad? What’s wrong with simplicity, straight shots? Heart vs. technicality? Hardcore punk in 2010 may seem like an exercise in pouring ready-made materials into a pre-formed template. To me, it’s always been about the spirit, the intention. Like any form of art, there are boundaries, otherwise there’d be no reference points. Everything Falls Apart isn’t free jazz. It isn’t Paul Simon-inspired “world music.” It’s hardcore in the long tradition of The Effigies, Articles Of Faith, and early Hüsker Dü (from whence their name came). And it hits on all marks. At no time during the record spinning do I imagine them playing in the husked skins of bands that preceded them nor do I smell the over-ripe rot of bruised music nostalgia. I just hear a band busy carving their music in concrete that’s already been set, and it’s music that I continue to like a lot.