Adrenaline – Adrenaline EP Review

Band: Adrenaline
Album: Adrenaline EP
Label: Flatspot Records
Genre: Hardcore
Country: USA
Release Date: May 24th, 2019

Adrenaline is powerful stuff. It brought Uma Thurman back to life in Pulp Fiction, (Spoiler alert?) it’s what makes us access our primal response in high pressure situations, and it’s the reason I love going to live shows. The increased heart rate is what gets me up on the stage and diving into a crowd of strangers, I’m not doing that if I’m on my way to get a coffee. So when a new group pops up with the name Adrenaline, I obviously have some assumptions. Then I saw it was a Baltimore hardcore act that is featuring three members from Queensway and I knew I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

When it comes to Adrenaline’s sound compared to Queensway, they are a lot less Xibalba and a lot more Orange 9mm and Inside Out. Suffice to say they less metallic and more straightforward hardcore in their style of play. Less Closed Casket Activities, more Triple B Records. Adrenaline happens to reside on Flatspot records, which is a great home for the group. With label mates like Higher Power and Hands of God, they are surrounded by other up and coming powerhouses in the hardcore scene.

Adrenaline has a sound to their music on this EP that is akin to their Baltimore brothers in Trapped Under Ice & Turnstile. The guitars are dense and heavy, but still find a way to play them with a real bouncy sound to it. I’m hereby dubbing it the “Baltimore Bounce.” The bass is very thick and during a couple songs it chunks hard in my speakers. Songs like Extortion & a couple parts in Masked Out are where it’s the most notable. I’m pretty sure the drummer here is the exact same drummer as in Queensway, and is able to show a lot of diversity in his drumming style. The beat at the beginning of Extortion is one of my personal favorites, the closing section of Masked out is another that really stood out for me. The vocals have a really harsh but legible sound to them. Similar to, but still different from Pat Flynn of Have Heart. You can hear the intense emotions coming out through the vocalist, and still understand what they are saying.

This six song EP kicks off with Pressures Of…. You can fill in the blank with whatever your personal pressures are. The song seems to be about the pressures that people feel from society. “I feel the pressure, from every angle around me. Telling me to be like you…” Whether it’s school, your job, or whatever else in your life we’ve all felt pressures to change ourselves. The song has a really heavy sound to the guitars that pick up speed throughout the short run time. The drumming is really tight with good beats to get down in the pit to. The song rides away on a super fun mosh section that bleeds nicely into the next track.

The single Masked Out is the centerpiece of the EP and one of my favorite tracks. The song is immediately frantic with alarm clock riffs urging you to move. The song presses forward showcasing some of that patented Baltimore Bounce. The vocals have an almost hip-hop cadence to them that compliments the groove of the song really well.

There aren’t many missteps with Adrenaline’s debut EP. The production isn’t perfect; the cymbals can be a little harsh at a higher volumes, and the volume of the EP is a little quiet overall. But as this can be seen as the band’s demo these are all easily forgivable. The samples used on the EP are pretty great and the source material are things I truly love. Hearing Psycho by The Sonics was an awesome surprise that gets me on every listen. The sample from Blue Velvet before the closing track was also an awesome surprise, but it’s a pretty long sample and can get tiresome on repeated listens.

In 14 minutes Adrenaline was able to sell me on their vision. Their punk infused hardcore sound is super fun, but the music can still get irresponsibly heavy. This EP is able to spike my Adrenaline every time. The band played their first show earlier this month opening for Vein in their home state of Maryland, make sure to buy this EP and support these crazy kids so they can keep this band alive!

Rating: 8/10

1. Pressures Of…
2. In Dreams
3. Masked Out
4. Extortion
5. In Reality
6. The Real You

Total Playing Time: 14:06

Click here to visit Adrenaline’s Bandcamp

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