TITLE: CALIFORNIA CURSED
LABEL: REVELATION RECORDS
WORDS: DEC SHERRY
Revelation Records have been at the cutting edge of hardcore since the late eighties, and while some may see their impact be a thing of the past, The Golden State’s Drain clearly disproves this.
California Cursed is the result of a vivacious mix of DIY Punk, Metalcore and contemporary Hardcore however there is still a clear influence from older Hardcore and adjacent bands from their native California such as Black Flag, Spazz and Suicdal Tendencies. While the record is a great amalgamation of Drain’s career so far, the band have transcended this and return a different band – stronger, heavier and better than ever. The band themselves say “It took us a few years of just jamming together and playing shows to figure out what we really wanted to sound like”.
The band’s lyrical content is venomous, bitter and hostile but behind the pain and anguish vocalist Sam Ciaramitaro spews forth, there is a real sense of the fun Drain gets from their output and the enjoyment they get from being a band. The lyrical content is quite alien to a lot of the bands that call Revelation home, the positivity and brotherhood of bands like Bold and Youth of Today are absent, giving way to the despair and uncertainty of life that Judge were known for. There isn’t a point on the record where Drain’s lyrical output isn’t unrelatable, the band’s masterful song writing is perfectly introspective yet on a level that isn’t just subjective to the band’s experiences. From lines such as the eponymous track’s “Paycheck to paycheck just to pay the rent, my soul is parched” to the more blatant “I’m human like you, imperfect like you” from Character Fraud.
“ACROSS THE COURSE OF LESS THAN 25 MINUTES DRAIN BARELY RELENT, PUNISHING AND RIP-ROARING BRUTALITY.”
Hardcore is well known for various crossovers it has with other genres such as Thrash, which Drain are a party to, though rather than marrying just one genre with Hardcore Drain effortlessly weave together countless influences from an array of musical stylings. Across the course of less than 25 minutes Drain barely relent, punishing and rip-roaring brutality. The outpouring of negativity and indifference to world is more than familiar to most within the Hardcore scene and shows Drain as a true product of their environment. Santa Cruz might be famous for being the home of Kiefer Sutherland’s tribe of vampires, but the city has one of the US’ highest ratings of homelessness and an influx of tourists and students from around the world has seen the cost of living rise for locals and independent businesses being pushed out of the area.
While California Cursed is drenched in darkness and agony the fun Ciaramitaro gets from Drain shines through and each track is primed and ready to be unleashed live. Without releasing a full length Drain are already reknowned for their live performances “We just play every show like it’s our last and encourage everyone in the room to be whoever they want to be, and do whatever they want to do”
“DRAIN HAVE PROVEN THAT THEY ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH…THE BAND COULD PROVE TO BE ONE OF HARDCORE’S BIGGEST NAMES IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE…”
Speaking of Drain’s goal during the creative process of California Cursed, Ciaramitaro states “with writing California Cursed we kept it very organic and just got into a room together and tossed ideas around until we had songs that we felt were catchy, full of big riffs, and had no filler.” Drain certainly achieves this and the hurricane that only really slows down for instrumental “Hollister Daydreamer” with the record being an unrelenting hurricane that you wish carried on for longer.
While it’s only their first full length release, Drain have proven here they are a force to be reckoned with, coupled with their raucous live shows the band could prove to be one of Hardcore’s bigger names in the immediate future.
CALIFORNIA CURSED IS OUT NOW VIA REVELATION RECORDS. GRAB YOUR COPY HERE.