Indeed, as independence ultimately lies at the root of hardcore, the concept runs through the veins of Living Proof – from the ode to sobriety FTS (KYS), where chainsaw guitars and a brawling rhythm section battle against Sammy’s rousing roars to reinvent yourself and ‘kill all the parts that you don’t love’, to the record standout Imposter. Opening with an (almost) Oscar Wilde quote that ‘imitation is the lowest form of flattery’, said track points its crosshairs at the fakes and posers in a scene rife with hangers-on and people wanting to get involved because hardcore is cool right now. This mentality is the antithesis to Drain, and you can almost taste the undiluted rage oozing out of the band, as Sammy seethes, ‘I’ll never fucking respect you’ to those who ‘try too hard to be something you’re not.’
Paying homage to the bands that came before, Drain deliver a fairly faithful cover of Descendents’ Good Good Things amongst their cathartic cacophony, but they too look to the current blending of hardcore and hip-hop culture by introducing rapper Shakewell on Intermission. Such dexterity within and admiration for the genre they inhabit sets Drain apart from the ever-growing pack, and Living Proof might just be the best record yet to spawn from a scene that still hasn’t hit its peak.
Like their merch says: ‘Drain is your friend’. And friends don’t let you down.
For fans of: Sunami, Scowl, Power Trip
Living Proof is out now via Epitaph