Bust out your skateboards, people, this one is full of frustrated punks. Winnipeg’s Union Stockyards released a short three-song hardcore punk EP back in November of Evil-Year (aka 2016) called Local Zero’s (why is there an apostrophe? Proofread your work, friends – or maybe I’m just STUPID!) With a fat sound and crispy high production quality, it is a mix of The Story So Far and Dropkick Murphys without all the Irish things. It packs a pretty serious blow, which is proof that even small things can ram you right up the buttho’.
The first track off of this cute little locket of loathing is the title track, and it presents a pretty attractive intro which sets the mood for what the rest of the EP brings. The piercing treble lead guitar combined with the face-pounding, very kick pedal heavy, drumming is a classic representation of what the kids who hate their rich-ass, suburban stepparents love to listen to. It tells a story; even though they’re still greasy bastard punks they still tried to succeed, and that’s what matters, kids. The short instrumental bridge, which could have used some vocals to fill it in a bit, softens the mood while still respecting the intensity of the song, and that is appreciated.
Where the title track has a little bit more of a melodic and catchy vocal melody, the vocal style on “Loser’s Last Stand” is a lot less structured and fluent. Although instrumentally it has the same fierce pound as “Local Zero’s,” the vocal syllables are a tad stretched out and sung abruptly, hindering the flow, but I guess that’s hardcore punk for yas. With an interesting bridge which sounds very similar to Foo Fighter’s “Everlong” intro, “Loser’s Last Stand” is a little more dynamic than the two other songs and adds a little twist with shout into the mix, once again breaking the flow, breaking the flow (Judas Priest, everybody, Judas Priest).
All three songs continue the level 10 trend of ferocious intensity; an old lady would probably say that they all sound the same. If her hearing is reliable and trustworthy, she may not be wrong in saying that because they all follow the same pattern of fast punk drumming, piercing guitar leads, and angry yelling, but each song offers something unique between the lines; some kind of underlying difference. “Game Over, Man” is an appropriate closer in that it has elements of both preceding songs (whether that was intentional or not); it’s a little more fluent and easier to ‘groove’ to, but also busts out the moderately broken down breakdown with more emphasis on the bass, but still accompanied by the piercing lead guitar refrain. The drums are bass heavy, the guitar crunches down hard, and Tony, the vocalist, sounds just as pissed off in this one as the others.
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Danielle Kenedy