by Jahshie P
About 17 years ago, I joined a band called Failed Resistance. We were a hardcore/punk band out of Chicago, completely out of place with the other local punk bands, who mainly played pop punk music. Yet we managed to get our own crowd locally and had a respectable draw throughout the country. I bring this up because I have always had an obsession with street punk/hardcore music, and frankly, in the past decade, I have only found a handful of new bands performing this type of music. And, none of them were from Chicago.
With the release of The Gutters of Paradise, The Kreutzer Sonata totally gave me new faith in local music. This album is a no-nonsense, relentless, brutal attack from beginning to end. Opening with the catchy “Ten Yard Stare”, a song that really sets the tone for the entire record, this album just doesn’t let up. “Nobody” follows nicely with some great guitar work and painfully great vocals. A lot of people don’t get it with the screaming vocals, but, it is truly an art that takes years to perfect. Adam of The Kreutzer Sonata has found his niche and that really makes the vocals the forefront of the entire album. And, that is not taking away from the rest of the band at all. They are a very tight and experienced group. Without a great band, great vocals do no good.
The fourth track “Pulse” almost tricks you into thinking it may be a little more poppy with it’s opening riff, but, as the vocals come in, the aggression quickly returns and this makes for one of the finer tracks on the album. Almost every song includes gang vocals that make the songs all that more memorable and easy to scream along with when you see them live. It’s not easy making hardcore songs with hooks, but, these guys do it with ease.
On what is perhaps the best track on the album, “Old Glory,” the band digs a bit deeper in political views. Complete with a bass breakdown and a shredding guitar solo, plus the gang vocals repeating “World Coming Down,” this one will get stuck in your head for days.
The Gutters of Paradise features fifteen tracks in all, and it never slows down or becomes stale and repetitive. With so many cliche punk bands out there these days, TKS really know how to separate themselves from their peers. Even though the band has been around for a few years now, I believe that this album finally gives the band a proper recording, capturing all the elements they have to offer and giving people something to connect with. The future is bright for this group of youngsters, and with proper booking and touring, I believe that TKS will begin to start making major waves, not just in Chicago, but around the world.
The Gutters of Paradise is streaming now at https://thekreutzersonata.bandcamp.com and will be released in the near future on vinyl through Don’t Panic Records and Distro out of Chicago. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on this stellar record.