Album Review: Counterparts “The Current Will Carry Us”

At this point in time, you may not be familiar with Hamilton, Ontario’s Counterparts. The band recently signed to Victory Records, but before that, they were a staple in the local Ontario hardcore scene. Their debut album, Prophets, was a hit among their fans, and was praised by others who heard it, outside of their local scene. Skip ahead almost two years later, Counterparts are back with their sophomore album, The Current Will Carry Us.

The Current Will Carry Us opens up with a slow guitar riff, leading into the vocalist Brendan Murphy’s terrorizing screams. From the opening track, “The Disconnect,” it is obvious that The Current Will Carry Us is not a rehash of Prophets. While the band’s previous material was praised because of their positive lyrics, when Murphy’s yells “I fucking hate the world, I fucking hate myself, and I swore I’d never fucking feel like this,” it is obvious that this is not the same, positive thinking album. Ryan Juntilla’s drums provide the backing force behind “MMVII,” as the pounding, aggressive nature of his kit keeps the listeners blood pumping.

On “Optimist,” Murphy exclaims “We will turn our hatred into something to be proud of,” letting listeners know that even though Counterparts is not the positive band they were before, the 5 five of them are still proud of what they are doing. The album’s first single “Jumping Ship” is lead in by a combination of distortion and the guitar work of both Alex Re and Jesse Doreen. Murphy lays down some of his most memorable lyrics to date on “Jumping Ship,” with lines like “I’ve watched everyone around me jump ship / and I hope they’re left to sink,” and “I’ve watched days become months, become years / and I’ve lost faith in progression” are shouted with unmatched emotion throughout the track.

“Pedestals” opens up with the most upbeat guitar riff that that Re and Doreen have ever provided for the group. As the track draws to a close, Eric Bazinet’s bass line is as prevalent as ever, and adds to eerie ambiance that the listeners are left with, after Murphy finished screaming “all my heroes have failed me.” At the album’s end comes “Reflection,” the slowest track on The Current Will Carry Us. Murphy’s voice, backed by the slowed down musicianship of the rest of the band, makes for the most emotionally draining performance Counterparts has made, to date.

Counterparts may not be revolutionizing melodic hardcore, by they are damn well doing the style justice. The Current Will Carry Us is sure to be remembered as one of the best heavy albums to be released in 2011. Whether it is to honest lyrics, melodic musicianship, aggressive vocals, or the breakdowns, there is something that almost anyone can enjoy on this album. If I have one thing to say about The Current Will Carry Us, it is that it makes me proud to be a Canadian.

The Current Will Carry Us is available on October 25th, via Victory Records.

Tracklist:

1. The Disconnect
2. I Am No One
3. The Constant
4. MMVII
5. Optimist
6. Jumping Ship
7. Pedestal
8. Thank God
9. Uncertainty
10. Sinking
11. Reflection

For Fans of: Comeback Kid,

Key Tracks: Jumping Ship, Pedestal, Reflection, The Disconnect

Rating: 8.5/10