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From Isolation

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Album Review

Florida's Call to Preserve play hardcore punk that's almost laughably clichéd. From Isolation, the band's second full-length, strictly adheres to hardcore's checklist: barked vocals, simplistic choruses, piledriving breakdowns, no-frills riffs. However, the execution is so flawless and the conviction is so strong that the band can't help but win converts. That's right, the band is Christian, and it's not weaker for it. The lyrics avoid preachiness and instead address personal struggles. "Vices" tackles self-control, while "Waiting for Dawn" affirms the call of the road. Even the most religious lines are matter of fact: "Just give me a light for my path/Show me the parts of my heart only you can see." The vocals slam syllables against drums with force, while gang choruses proclaim, "We've come from isolation but we're never alone." It's almost reassuring given the pummeling. The lyrics recall Modern Life Is War minus the poetic flair, and slower passages evoke that band as well. Call to Preserve excel at punishing double-time gallops, like in "So Low" and "Dear Galatia," though "First Light" curiously lopes like later Black Flag. Dave Quiggle contributes stunning artwork, bloodying cartoon geishas amid deceptively sunny tones. Despite its stylistic straitjacket, this record packs a punch.

From Isolation, Call to Preserve
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