Following the formula of your standard hardcore band, South Boston’s Death Before Dishonor serves up Count Me In, rife with chugging guitars, screaming vocals, and a cavalcade of “man against society” lyrics, boiling it down to a personal level while never directly addressing anyone in particular. Death Before Dishonor’s aggro-metal mantras can be applied to a variety of subjects from a douchebag boss to a cheating ex-girlfriend. The downside is that, at times, the lyrics on Count Me In are reminiscent of the angry scribblings usually reserved for poetry in a high school creative writing class. “Infected”, a pissed off piece clocking in at under two minutes, lyrically focuses on the “joke of existence”, a recurring theme throughout the album.
Other typical hardcore staples make their appearance on Count Me In. Beefy, echoing choruses with the whole band joining in are de rigeuer, as are abrupt endings to each of the songs. (There’s no such thing as a “fade out” in hardcore, damnit! Except for the ending on “See it Through” with some skillful guitar work from guitarists B-Roll and Frankie.) The songs flow seamlessly, from one to the next largely in part because of a cohesive sound of grungy, bass-heavy guitars alongside pummeling percussion… and partly because a lot of the songs sound the same. Nevertheless, tracks like the energetic “Break Through it All” and the churning buzz of “Curl Up and Die” are strong, traditional hardcore—heavy, yet melodic with clever breakdowns and shifts. “Behind Your Eyes” makes good with a kick ass drum intro, tapping out a beat like a demonic Morse Code while “Take Me Away” takes on a different tone from much of Death Before Dishonor’s material. The guitar work switches rapidly between smooth, deep tones that cut through the verse and contain the disc’s lone, blistering instance of an upper-register guitar solo. Unfortunately, the best song on the album is Count Me In‘s hidden track, “Boston Belongs To Me”, a hometown pride anthem that switches over into more of a hardcore punk mode as opposed to strictly hardcore. Fans of the genre will likely enjoy Count Me In as will long time Death Before Dishonor fans, however, if you’re seeking heavy tracks with a variety of hard styles, look elsewhere.
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