Album Review: On the Cinder’s “The Fight Against Ourselves”

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Buffalo, NY has seen a bit of a punk rock Renaissance in the past few years, with bands like ska-punks Seven Thirty Seven, oi! band The Chosen Ones, and ska/reggae outfit The Abruptors calling this bygone outpost of the Empire State their home.  On The Cinder is definitely carrying the punk rock banner for this cadre of awesome Buffalo bands.  Keep reading below to read more about their latest release, The Fight Against Ourselves, which came out in April.

Their latest release, The Fight Against Ourselves, is a hefty 13-track album.  Quite a few of the songs weigh in on the long-ish side, and two break the punk-rock barrier of 3 minutes plus.

The Fight Against Ourselves dives right into the fray of the problems that plague modern society:  social justice, politics, war, and poverty.  While bringing these issues to light, the songs manage to keep an overall positive message of standing up for yourself and your friends.

Despite being so laden with exhortations to stand up against the problems of society, On the Cinder manages to make statements without losing their overall musical quality.  These are big songs with precise drums and heavy bass, quick stops and big breakdowns, and anyone who appreciates punk will enjoy this record for that alone.

One of my favorite tracks is “Sardonic Grin,” which touches on foreign war and politics with crisp verses and a breakdown that sound more like a traditional New York hardcore band.  “Gen Y” has an pop-punk rhythm, bringing with it a message of frustration at the current economy and the hardships facing the post-college generation.  With lyrics like, “We are the Atlas of our elders/ Supporting those who came before/ Bound by policy in a system/We never had a choice,” they paint a grim picture of life for 30-somethings, but the song ultimately ends on a note of unity and a feeling that we’re all in this shit together, with the lyrics “The eagle may feed on all our livers/ But we’ll get the job done/ Now’s the time that this nation/ Calls to its daughters and sons/ United in fire, we stand as one.  Another gem of this album is “Cleaned Out,” which is just punk rock perfection.

Overall, The Fight Against Ourselves is a stellar follow-up to On the Cinder’s 2015 release, Caustic.  These guys tour a few times a year, so check them out and keep an eye out to see them live.



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