Sunday, March 13, 2011

Straight Faced - "Broken"

Straight Faced were a hardcore band from Huntington Beach throughout most of the 90's. From their earliest recordings of pretty straight forward hardcore to their first album "Guilty" where they started to develop their sound a bit more. Always touching on personal issues of struggle and growth, be it drugs, friendships, or just trying to be a better person, the band may have had their finest moment with their second album, "Broken."

Released on Fearless Records in 1996 (Yes, Fearless used to release Hardcore & Punk records), Broken saw the band exploring a heavier sound while still maintaining a fairly fast sound. Guitar effects, jangly bass, loud drums, and big back-up vocals abound, the subject matter still remains centralized on improving oneself and the world around; be that through self-analysis and improvement, or denouncing the then exploding (and now sadly commonplace) ideas of tough guys with hair triggers being even more prevalent in our society.

Straight Faced was the first "hardcore" band I got into that was actively playing and from my general vicinity. A special place certainly exists within for them, and easily 25-30 shows with them were seen, going back to some of my earliest punk shows around the time "Guilty" was coming out. All nostalgia aside, "Broken" is a great record. Stand out tracks include: Who Am I To Say, Lit, Potential Genius, & Gone Too Far. Not that there's a bad track here. As a bonus the download includes the original versions of "Show Me Your Gun" (punk bites) & "Regret" (flush sampler).

DOWNLOAD: Straight Faced - "Broken"

Big Brian, Sergio, Haji, Ratboy, this one's for you guys... old memories and good times.

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