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A Short Hardcore Trip Out Of This World With Spaced

When thinking of the hardcore genre, what may come to mind is hard hitting instrumentals and harsh vocals. Yet with Spaced’s latest release, This Is All We Ever Get, you can add a cosmic undertone.

Photo by Andrew Behrens

Spaced is a “far out hardcore” quintet formed out of Buffalo, New York in 2019. They would kick down the door to the scene in 2021 accompanying the release of their four song DEMO which was followed in 2022 by a compilation titled Spaced Jams. New Morality Zine would promote the band’s 2023 dual single release “Boomerang/Cycle Killer.” This would lead to the band catching the interest of Revelation Records who would help release this new record This Is All We Ever Get. Alongside that for this new record the band would record with Jay Zubricky who has worked with bands like Mindforce and Terror. The record would be recorded over a few days eventually being sent off to Dead Air Studios to be mastered by Will Killingsworth who has worked with Orchid.

Starting off with “Landslide” if there wasn’t one already, there will be a mosh pit forming somewhere near you as this song doesn’t hold anything back. It gives a great introduction to the band if you haven’t heard before integrating its hard hitting hardcore stylings with fun spacy tones and mixings throughout. Vocalist Lexi Reyngoudt asserts absolute dominance on this track from the first breath taken all the way to the last on this track, let alone the entire record. One theme that is started on this track that is continued throughout, is the fact that every song feels as though there is room for group vocals that allow for crowd participation. Like on “Landslide” it is the repeat of the song title in this track that puts out the feeling that this song is for everyone which is also accompanied in the music where people of all walks of life are working out and hyping each other up while the song is being played in the background.

“Landslide” bleeds into the next track “Big Picture” with the help of sustaining guitar accompanied by pounding drums and bass provided by Dan McCormick and John Vaughan respectively. This combo pounds like asteroids on a spaceship building to an eventual break that kicks the song into its second gear. The second gear to this song is accompanied by lyrics that push the theme of living your best life that you can as this is the only life that you have, “I got this feeling in my chest it’s so hard to express; I got one life to live and I will live without regret.” The song is capped off by a short but wicked guitar solo that fades away at the end of the track.

After another group gathering in the track “Downfall” that highlights haters who try to take you down a peg to no effort, we take a left turn into “AIATB”. This track, which funnily is an acronym for “Alone In A Taco Bell”, is a midpoint left turn instrumental that paints a beautiful picture. Only being a minute long this track lets the band live up to their namesake. Etherial guitar riffs, spacey drums that linger in the background, and soundscapes that are also in background building a world of its own apart of this track. The biggest issue I would have with this song is that it is only one minute. I was left wanting more from this instrumental that pushed into “Rat Race” which goes back to the band’s more traditional hardcore sound, which isn’t a bad thing.

This album ends on an extremely well put together one two punch with the tracks “Cosmic Groove” and “Running Man.” Guitars run heavy on “Cosmic Groove” being the driving and transitional pieces as one minute the song can be very riff heavy and then through some great effects on the guitars jump over to glossy, echoey solos back to the riffs which started the track. Musically this song reminds me of Suicidal Tendencies in the best aspects possible. Vocals, main and background, drive the song home by the end hammering home the established theme of finding a place in a confusing world. This again, is another case of community building as the lyrics “I need something to set me free; I know I’m feeling stuck inside your world” which are built on Reyngoudt leading the charge being backed up in the process. The community is in the fact that when listening you can not only relate to the overall meaning of the song but, you almost get the sense that you should be singing along and if you aren’t it almost feels wrong to not join in. Another one that will take off and bring a crowd together during a live show.

“Running Man” caps off this record bringing together aspects heard throughout this entire record. Far out soundscapes and tones, hardcore roots, community, and themes of figuring life out are all found in this culmination. Lots to love on this track that is also the longest on the record clocking in at two and a half minutes. While that might not seem like a lot, with the rest of the record averaging anywhere between one and a half to two minutes, two and a half feels like an open playground for the band to fill. They fill it for sure the guitars and their relationships with effects and production get to shine the hardest all throughout this finale. It gives a grander sense to this finale that sends out one final message on bettering oneself “Trying to be your everything, I lost my sense of self. Will all of this mean anything? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.” Great way to end this record.

Overall, This Is All We Ever Get is an extremely solid release. A continuation in hardcore’s ongoing evolution and expansion, Spaced brings in a familiar yet different sound while building a sense of community with their lyric structures and themes allowing for relatability and participation in almost every track. This record also gets me excited to see what’s next for the band this year as they just finished opening for Militarie Gun on a US tour and are currently overseas in the UK for shows. If you would like to check out Spaced you can go to their Bandcamp.

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