Chicago Illinois duo Brad Johnson (Drums, Percussion), Dane Pope (Vocals) are the backbone of Second Wind, a band who play a Melodic Hardcore infusion that allows extremes to bleed out in both directions, the Post-Hardcore side at one end and the Metallic Hardcore at the other. Taking influence from the likes of Gideon, Counterparts and The Ghost Inside, they recorded their debut EP with Scott Creekmore (Broken Hope, Dirge Within) of Mercenary Digital Studios who mixed and mastered the affair while Kevin Kerestes and Marcello Garcci played the guitar and bass parts.
The percussive sounds that underpin “Mettle” are impressive, with a lot going on under the surface, especially during the post chorus riffage. The guitars have a flavour of Stick To Your Guns with an interesting flow between the styles and while Pope’s vocals may better suit a heavier Hardcore sound, they still work really well here. “Finisher” has a rager of an introduction that has a pulverising bass sound and some 90s Hardcore aesthetics that cross over into Hardcore Punk territory. Again what really makes it work is the blend and the seamless flow between the styles in the change ups and downs. “Gratitude” returns to that more intricate drum pattern styling of “Mettle” while Pope’s voice is a blunt force trauma that knits everything together neatly. By far the heaviest aspect of the track, it makes way for some gang chant moments at the end of the cut and a solid, pit filling breakdown section. “Freedom” had Brandon Arnett adding a clean vocal harmony layer that intertwines neatly with Pope’s harsh uncleans while a a more technical lead part is a nice touch. A fist pumping anthem, befitting of the title of the song, this one is has both the headbang and sing-a-long moments nailed [7/10]
Freedom (ft. Brandon Arnett)
“Vital” by Second Wind is out now and available over at bandcamp