Take a good look at your music collection. While you may have a wide variety of artists and genres, chances are you spinning what you listened to when you were fifteen the most. For me it was a steady rotation of DRI, COC, and Suicidal Tendencies. While glimpses of that mid ’80s hardcore/metal hybrid have passed through my speakers numerous times over the years, not until I hit play on the new DNA EP have I found it more comparable to my formative years. What really perplexes me is that it’s not coming from LA, or even Boston. It’s coming from Maine?!
This month Portland’s own Destructive New Age, aka DNA, unleash they’re self-titled EP on the masses via Triple-B Records. Picking up exactly where their 2011 demo left off, this new EP offers eight tracks of break neck thrashcore with a variety of influences sprinkled throughout. The EP rips out of the gate with the one/two of “Gonna Break” and “Answers.” It wasn’t until my third spin I realized they were two separate tracks as they blend together so well.
Where this EP really elevated itself was with the next five tracks. While the former were a good lead, what follows is bloody fantastic. Mixing equal amounts of Bay Area thrash, NY hardcore, LA skate punk, and Blue Note jazz (listen to the fills), DNA manage to invigorate a genre (with exception of state-mates Cruel Hand) that’s been imitated but not elevated. The two stand-out tracks, “The Fiends” and “The Crooks,” are a showcase of fast guitar, sarcastically spat vocals, and Brubeck-on-speed percussion. Preceded by the shredders “Distraction,” “Post-Core,” and “Unresolved Conflict,” DNA will make it impossible for you not to think you’re listening to outtakes from DRI’s “Dealing with It.” Rounding out the set at under a minute is “Patterns of Behavior.” While not a bad track it feels tacked on, and comes across as more of a theme song used to conclude live sets. It didn’t feel like a suitable bookend for what preceded it.
In all, DNA’s self-titled EP is a great record; it’s fast, aggressive, and loud. Modern day hardcore fans will enjoy it as much as those that grew up buying cassettes out of Thrasher Magazine back in the day. If the scarcity of the demo tape is any indication, then those that come late to the party will be slapping their heads. Pick this up ASAP.