Review: Backfire!

““Still Dedicated””
(Victory Records)

Lead singer Patrick easily has the most ferocious scream I’ve heard in my entire life.  Thundering guitars, heavy bass, and frenetic beats best characterize Holland’s hardcore uber-band Backfire!  Oh yeah, and that omnipresent scream.  Patrick must have an IV of cough drops and tea with honey running directly into his larynx when he’s not in the studio or on stage because there’s no way any normal human being can carry on that type of assault on a microphone without resorting to extreme measures.  “Still Dedicated” finds Backfire! at a bit of a crossroads.  After long time drummer Richard unexpectedly took his life, Backfire! went to the studio with a lot of issues to sort out.  The result is a twelve track, hard-hitting sonic wall chock full of old school aggression and angst.  In addition to the title track, standouts include “Trapped in the Maze” “Freedom” and “Leave it Behind”-songs focusing on those who thought they had it all, only to realize their lives were constructed upon superficial ideals.  Fans of hard and fast rock without any false pretenses or wimpy sentiments will not be disappointed by “Still Dedicated”.