What exactly makes an album or band “hardcore?” Some would claim hardcore, like punk, require a certain attitude that stands above the music, while others declare that, like metal, there are necessary musical elements that must be present before fans of the genre deem the music worthy. To further add to the confusion, there are those hardcore adherents who believe that any aspiring hardcore band must make their allegiance known before truly progressing – “You’re either a punk rocker or metalhead, and never the twain shall meet.”
Enter Connecticut band They And The Children with their debut record Home, and you’ll hear a band attempting to bridge that often wide music chasm. This compelling four-piece seeks to combine aggressive punk rhythms with the more anthemic aspects of metal through the use of strong and strident sociopolitical themes that have bound the two camps together in the past. Yet, even with such impressive musical ambition (found primarily in the frenzied track “The Madmen” and appropriately preachy “Invisible”), the album drags more often than it should and borrows too heavily from others (especially in the shouldn’t’-feel-this-languid cut “Creatures Who Stopped Living” and the cookie-cutter polemics of “Exit Strategy”). There is a great deal to enjoy here for fans of punk, metal, and hardcore, but the band tends to paint with too broad of a musical brush on occasion, resulting in some unfortunate frustration. This reviewer would love to hear They And The Children prove him wrong on future releases, but maybe hardcore bands should pick just one camp & stay put.