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Album Review

Twin Rivals – “Demo” [EP] [Album Review]

These Toronto natives are going places, in the same vein as Comeback Kid and Ignite, but with their own Toronto spin on the formula. Not bad for what the band bills as a “demo”. Check out our review inside.



One thing that becomes apparent upon first listen to this Toronto outfit’s demo is that they are clearly staking their territory in the same vein as other Canadian hardcore darlings, Comeback Kid. But rather than get mired in mimicry, the band go beyond that impulse and have gone on to release a demo that exerts more variety than simply following the same patterns over and over. Crowd vocals, impassioned and emboldened emotional melodies (especially apparent in “Jackknife”), breakdowns, mega riffs, gunfire drumming: it’s all there, in a major way, and yet it’s fresh-faced and revealing a glint in its eye, like something bigger is yet to emerge.

Exactly what that is is yet to come, as this is a band that is taking its time, not an uncommon or foolish move for Toronto groups, as it gives them time to bolster their live acts with precision and ease, something that I’ve been hearing from ears that I still have to the ground back home. What is apparent is that if you like melodic hardcore groups like Ignite, with some of that trademark Toronto grit, then this band is going to be your new favourite for play rotation.

I can’t help but feel the urge to escape my seat when the final breakdown in “Hell’s Coming” begins to trudge its way across the landscape, it’s shoulders packed with heavy riffage and grandstanding, enough gravitas and pace to keep it from devolving into camp. What works is that while the breakdowns are fun (“This is the sound of one heart beating” might be one of my favourite new lines I’ve heard this year), the band doesn’t throw all their chips in that direction, instead applying themselves equally to the things that make them, well, a hardcore band.

Fast riffs and drums keep everything tight and fun to listen to. It also doesn’t hurt that while they say this is a “Demo”, the production is quality in spades, which is aces when you’re waiting for a band to come out with more material, which I don’t think I’ll be alone in feeling by the sounds of things.

Demo Track Listing:

01. The Reckoning (Introduction)
02. Hell’s Coming
03. The Changing Tides
04. Jackknife

Run Time: 10:47
Release Date: August 24, 2016

Check out the EP Demo

Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.