REPOS: Poser: LP

It’s really hard for a hardcore band to put out a solid LP, and the odds are certainly stacked against being able to do it twice. I mean, if you really sit and think about it, the number of hardcore bands that put down two solid LPs is probably just a couple dozens, and it’s not a list that’s growing very fast. So, it’s pretty crazy that the Repos are on their fourth full-length (if you count 2013’s Lost Still Losing) and still seem fresh, relevant, and full of ideas. The last couple of years have seen the band put out several cassette releases and a couple of EPs that have all somehow consistently topped each other. I don’t know how not to gush about this band, but their sound is constantly evolving and every release sees them playing with new ideas while still retaining the unique qualities that make them the Repos. Poser finds the band working within the riffs of mid-’80s USHC (think a little Poison Idea, a little early JFA, White Cross, and SSD) with some Japanese influence (Gauze), but not really sounding like anyone. It’s clear they are fans of their genre and constantly learning from it instead of aping it. They clean up ideas people had in the past and make them their own. The guitar on this record scorches through with a few frills on each song that pop in and out of the mix organically. The vocal phrasing, something I’ve always appreciated about the band, is top-notch here and accomplishes making the bleak, poetic verses that would otherwise feel pretentious or out of place sit right at home. The progression of ideas—both sonically and poetically—they’ve reached since just the last couple of 7”s is mind-blowing. Essential modern hardcore. –Ian Wise (Youth Attack, ihateyouthattack.com)