SOCIAL CONFLICT: The World Against Us: CD

The eastside backyard scene has long been fertile ground from which numerous bands have spawned, made their noise of choice, and either withered on the vine or moved on to the greater music club scene. Just shy of their two-decade mark, Social Conflict are one of the backyards’ elder statesmen still keeping a foot in the old stomping grounds—no strangers to club dates yet still not above gracing the odd backyard gig—and the scene’s influence on the band is all over their latest release. What sets them apart from the pack, and quite frankly has set them apart almost since their inception, is their desire to push against the popular oom-PAH-oom-PAH thrash and post-post-post-quasi-”street punk” lyricism considered de rigueur amongst too many generations of local punk/hardcore bands. By occasionally lacing their frenetic rhythms with shards of psychedelia, utilizing the odd clean channel guitar and working with lyrics that address horrors both imagined and all too real with a bit more poeticism, they create a sound that is firmly rooted in the hardcore template, but isn’t afraid to branch out and—HORRORS!—show some creativity and originality. In addition to recording the basic tracks here, former Screamer Paul Roessler lends some keyboard work to an ace cover of his old band’s “122 Hours of Fear,” adding a nice bow on top of an already choice release. Play loud, play often, and play for pals.

 –jimmy (Innocence Lost)