Review: Hardside – Time Is Punishment

“Say I’ll never understand, never see what you have, think we are worlds apart, but we aren’t that far” growls singer Zane Pugh on ‘Worlds Apart’. And that is pretty much what Hardside’s debut album Time Is Punishment is all about: misunderstanding, bad change in people’s behaviour and betrayal.

Hardside is a band based in San Antonio (Texas) that plays heavy, metallic, (mostly) mid-tempo Hardcore with lots of groove. Very Terror-esque, which isn’t a surprise at all with a producer like Paul Miner (who also recorded with Terror and Trapped Under Ice). Beside that the band shares members with a other amazing San Antonio Hardcore band, Bitter End.

The last couple of years a lot of bands that play this style of Hardcore have emerged,  but what sets Hardside apart from all those other bands out there are the vocals. Pugh manages to get out a exceptional low growl, which fits perfectly in their heavy sounding hardcore. Besides that, some occasional clean vocals are used too. This might be a issue to some, because his singing voice is quite ‘special’, but most of the time it gives the music a catchy twist with lines that will stick to your mind. Something that’s also fueled by the fact the band records actual songs (chorus/verse style).

The album runs just under 30 minutes, which in my opinion is a perfect length for this kind of heavy music. Most songs sound similar or familiar, but Hardside manages to slide in some original ideas. The short instrumental ‘The Extermination’ and the solo guitar underneath the chorus of ‘Can’t Relate’ for example are a nice breeze of fresh air. Members from Bitter End and Terror make solid guest appearances on a couple of songs too, giving tracks like ‘Grim Reality’ that something extra.

Hardside delivers a solid debut with Time Is Punishment. Probably not the most original release out there, but certainly with their own touch. I would love to see how these guys manage to pull it off live, because that could be quite the intense show.

Time Is Punishment is released by 6131 Records and can be purchased either on CD or as limited edition vinyl.

Time is Punishment – Track list:

01. Shut It Out
02. Controlled
03. Can’t Relate
04. Survive
05. Grim Reality
06. Worlds Apart
07. Severed
08. Numb
09. The Extermination
10. Hardside
11. No Peace

Hardside: Facebook / Twitter / Merch

Written by Niels Koster

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