Album Review

Divebomb - Rhythm & Style

Released: October 13, 2015
Lisa Sanchez

Divebomb, a hardcore five-piece out of Mansfield, Ohio have recently released their debut EP Rhythm & Style. The band has carved out a special niche for themselves in the Ohio underground hardcore scene and with the release of their EP they're also embarking on their first semi-national tour with Creations. Although the band has small-town beginnings, Rhythm & Style holds enough dirty grit to enthrall an entire metropolitan population.

Rhythm & Style kicks like a mule with the first track, "What Dreams Are Made Of" including chunky guitar riffs and intermittent funky bass fills. Divebomb packs a lot of wallop into one song, which makes it feel disjointed in some places, but if the style deviates it always re-centers into the band's cohesive heavy sound.

The demo then transitions to "Steel Trap" which opens with vocalist Jacob Harvey delivering a terse rap intro then segues straight into his signature raspy, pummeling delivery. There are some excellent guitar licks in "Steel Trap" including an interlude that sounds like it was inspired by 50's era sci-fi movies. The last 30 seconds of the song turn the intensity up to 11 and I can just picture about a dozen sweaty dudes losing their minds in a circle pit. You heard me right, Divebomb is the moshpit medicine your musical pallet desperately needs.

"Under Your Wing" is essentially every hardcore fans disgusting, sweaty, two-stepping wet dream and I can't get enough of it. The guitars are dirty, the drums are fast, the vocals are so in your face you could perform a tonsillectomy and it is professionally and proficiently brutal. Divebomb have harnessed their raw power to re-energize the elements that made early hardcore fun in the first place. It's pissed, it's loud, and it's played at break-neck speed.

"Played Like Pawns" adds a punchy, bare-bones style to Rhythm & Style. The vocals are scratchy, the guitars are heavy, and Divebomb has officially invaded your every listening orifice. "Played Like Pawns" bites you right in the throat and rag-dolls you around for the rest of the album. Don't worry, you enjoy every minute of it.

From the brutal, nose-dive ending of "Played Like Pawns" we go into the groovy,  "Take the Crown." This song is hands down one of my favorites for Tom Hirst's bass solos. They're occasionally subtle in the song, but add a powerful underpinning that is absolutely essential. At about the two minute mark, Divebomb hits with their full sonic assault, invoking a level of total batshit chaos while still showcasing how musically talented the members are.

As a rule, I stopped looking for good hardcore a long time ago. It all just started to sound like the same circle-jerk nonsensical sputtering. But, I truly enjoy Divebomb both for their classical roots and invigorating injection of life into what I thought was a lackluster genre. Bravo, dudes. Keep the party going.