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This Is Hardcore: Cursed – Two

Gallows guitarist Lags picks his essential hardcore and punk releases – every Thursday on TeamRock

Ten years ago, Canadian punk band Cursed released their second album, 'Two', a frantic assault on the senses that floored hardcore kids and music critics around the world. In this one release, the Ontario quintet managed to out-crust, out-punk, out- metal, and outsmart every one of their peers. Vocalist Chris Colohan’s astute yet disconcertingly sinister lyrical style ensured that this album would become one of the most impressive modern hardcore records ever released.

Musically, Two showcases a dynamic blend of foreboding sludge metal and hostile grindcore that tip-toes around the fringes of punk rock. The opening track, Intro/Fatalist, perfectly demonstrates how these traits combine to create Cursed’s unique yet cohesive sound. The opening wall of feedback engulfs the speakers and eventually a slow chugging guitar cuts through the noise. They build menacingly, poised to rip your face clean off just before the rapid-fire drum fill signals the sonic onslaught and the whole band burst into life. The production is raw and invasive, guitars snap out at you and Colohan’s deathly screams sound like they’ve been ripped through a grinder. 

What really sets this album apart is the superior level of songwriting compared to that of other hardcore bands. For a band so hellbent on being ferocious and unforgiving, after just a few listens it’s hard to get the songs out of your head. With its second track, Reparations there are glimpses of melody when Colohan switches from screaming to crooning, “I don’t feel about your loss and my place in it”. Christian McMaster and Radwan Moumneh’s guitars are pure evil but effectively memorable, exchanging cleanly strummed chords for bellowing low drones before breaking into the fast metal thrash stylings of bands like Converge. 

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