Hardcore legend Dave Smalley is back. In addition to such iconic formations as DYS and Down By Law, he is currently mainly with Don’t Sleep active and dedicated to punk melodic hardcore. A first joint album was released in autumn 2020, but the tour didn’t work out for well-known reasons. As soon as you could go back into the rehearsal room, eight new tracks and an exciting cover were arranged into a successor, which should now be enough for an explosive take-off. „See Change“ masters the ‘second album’ hurdle with ease.
Already the opening “Harrisburg Graves” successfully speeds up the tempo, mixes in some punk and offers great entertainment value. The bold, crisp portion with Smalley in top form is immediately catchy. Subtly melancholic undertones in the verses skillfully drive the action, the little breakdown also makes you happy. Afterwards, the video release “Promise Made” takes even more melody with it, is wonderful to sing along to and experiments with some rap. The corners of the mouth inevitably twitch upwards – the next direct hit.
Despite its brevity – the album lasts just 24 minutes – there is no such thing as a scheme F. When “Love Is The Suture” surprises with a bit of off-beat, the grin keeps growing. “Runnin’ Down A Dream”, on the other hand, moves in the classic rock realm. Of course, the Tom Petty song gets the certain idiosyncratic Don’t Sleep impact, but also takes the drive of the original with it – almost sleazy in places, really nicely muscular and catchy as hell. Immediately afterwards, “20/20” works towards a powerful chorus that reminds you of Bad Religion, which you can’t get out of your head.
The second installment of Don’t Sleep is over far too quickly, but that’s the only criticism of this entertaining gem. “See Change” eschews predictability and packs everything from the broader hardcore and punk family onto one record. Every single song is really fun, the cover is surprisingly good, and Smalley sings as strong as ever. Sometimes it can be so simple – what a scoop.
Available from: 02.06.2023
Available through: End Hits Records (Cargo Records)
Category: Magazin, Reviews