Eleven years after their first full-length album, listeners should know what to expect from a Comeback Kid album: top-notch melodic hardcore. Anthemic choruses, driving energy, and plenty of windmill-worthy breakdowns populate Die Knowing, and even though it may be more of the same, it’s hard to complain when it’s executed so well.
This deep into the Comeback Kid’s career, it’s admirable how fucking ferocious they sound and by ferocious, I mean really fucking ferocious! Vocalist Andrew Neufield helms his third album as Comeback Kid’s frontman with plenty of power, proving that he definitely doesn’t live under the shadow of the band’s earlier, much-praised offerings with original vocalist Scott Wade. Wade even shows up on Die Knowing, teaming up with Neufield for the album’s best track, the schorcher “Full Swing.”
The songwriting on Die Knowing is about as varied as a melodic hardcore album comes. There are fast-paced songs tailor-made for a circle pit (“Lower the Line”) and slower head-stompers (“Somewhere in this Miserable…”) and gang vocals aplenty (“Beyond”). There’s even a surprisingly effective emotional, reflective song in “Didn’t Even Mind.” Recalling their mid-‘00s brethren such as This Is Hell and Verse, Comeback Kid have really fine-crafted their formula, capable of delivering catchy hooks with pummeling energy. They’re almost like a latter-day incarnation of Good Riddance, but with extra balls.
As good as an album is and as many highlights it has, the closer is a huge factor in its overall impact. Comeback Kid totally delivers with “Sink In.” It isn’t a full-on rager, but it’s heavy as hell with a simple-yet-catchy chorus. It’s a perfect fist-pumping cool down. After all of these years Comeback Kid haven’t strayed far from their earlier path, but on Die Knowing, Comeback Kid have proven that they are masters of their own sound.
Ricky Vigil spends a lot of time thinking about punk rock and playing video games. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT, where he works with teenagers and wonders what could have been if he had followed his boyhood dream of becoming a professional wrestler. He also makes comics you can read at rickyvigil.tumblr.com