With a line-up featuring past members of Undying and Outbreak, Brooklyn boys Go Deep have released their debut record and oh boy it’s packed with some classic punk jams. Unremitting and in your face, Counseling smashes out shouted vocals from Kris Kneale and a throbbing bassline, egged along by ripping guitars and solid drum work. In terms of the releases production, Counseling sails quite well between the rocks of too-clean-sounding for a hardcore record and that raw edgy bite that you come to expect from punk. Lyrically the band doesn’t try anything too complex, this is punk after all, but they get straight to the point and they don’t go holding any punches. In this sense it is everything that is good about punk.
With first track ‘Late Notice’ the album starts off with a pretty tired hardcore device: sound clips from 80’s movies (Point Break). But they also deliver an all-out punk assault until everything fades to black just before the 2 minute mark (yeah that’s right, a punk song over two minutes long!) before evolving into walloping chords forming a truly dark hardcore punk riff and a furiously creative breakdown. Second track ‘Glossectomy’ shows perfectly how every last line Kris shouts is targeted, he’s got someone in his sights and his words are loaded. “I’m a destructive person, and you’re the fucking reason.” Clocking in at 51 seconds of pure aggression, this is more like what you would have expected, bringing fast riffs and a bone-crushing bass. The song definitely harps back to the unadulterated punk of the 80’s – thumping from jazzy riffs to a devastating end, this song is all of the punk you can handle and more.
When fourth track ‘Leave’ hits in all hell breaks loose, it screeches into life like a rollercoaster that’s flipped off the tracks. Showcasing some of the heaviest hardcore punk riffs you will ever hear, the song also finds time to go back to the punk roots with a faster, jumping middle and end. “You’re so fucking critical, so tell me what I can’t do. I’ll shove this down your throat….” This is one of the most abrasive and coarse songs on the release. Then there is ‘Elders’. The most satisfyingly unexpected song on a hardcore punk album. This one is slow, it is heavy, and boy it’s angry: “Spoon fed poison ideas since birth.” Adding in the darkest lead riff on the album Kris ends with the demand: “Learn to accept.”
The final two tracks ‘Bundle of Joy’ and ‘Enthusiast’ form a bit of an uncharitable social commentary on the lives of today’s youths: teenage pregnancy and drug habits paid for by daddy, but slammed together with powerful riffs which make me forget about the unfair character assassinations of kids today and just enjoy one hell of a ride. Really trying to ‘Go Deep’ and end off the 7 track release on a dark note, the band tackle addiction: “I can’t imagine losing myself like that… You’re dying for one more.” Hitting out at the selfishness and self-apathy that feeds into addictions, like much of the 10 minutes that came before it, this comes out of the blue and hits home as a bit of a shock, but not in a bad way. Oh no, this is good shit.
All in all, Go Deep have furiously churned out a hard-hitting collection of songs that promise to unite any lost fans of punk out there by combing traditional punk with something a little bit different and a little bit heavier. In what has become, like so many, a genre with too many bands with too few ideas, Go Deep bring something exciting to the feast knowing exactly what they want to do and precisely how to deliver.
4 out of 5 high fives!