Underproduced recordings don’t usually bother me; in fact, I have a sentimentality for lo-fi and hastily made underground albums. If I had to decide between the glossy artificiality of a generic hard rock record or a crusty black metal EP recorded in some dude’s dorm room, I’d prefer the raw, unhinged quality of the latter.
Then again, the problem with delving into poorly produced records is that the music itself might be tonally thrown off kilter by its own revision. “Between Life,” the newest EP by hardcore band Typecaste, exists in a difficult state of being incredibly sloppy, while also catering to its spastic production. Moreover, “Between Life” is a heavy record through and through; but heaviness can’t save a band’s weak attempts at song structure and dissonance.
Typecaste come off as a band who could write the same 2-minute hardcore beat for a full-length record and their fanbase would gush all over it. In spite of the band teetering on the sound of early-2000s era metalcore (like Hopesfall’s “No Wings to Speak Of” EP), this ends up feeling disjointed. The vocals of “Between Life” aren’t consistent, either; the last song, “Under the Wreath,” for instance, sounds like it has three different vocalists auditioning for three different bands.
I shouldn’t be too critical—EPs don’t have the expectations for cohesion that full-lengths do, but I also don’t think this means bands should slap together songs without consideration to their quality. “Between Life” is, at its core, what four songs would sound like if you had written them just then and accidently left the record button on. As easily bored as I get of hardcore nowadays, if I had to check to see how much is left of this 11-minute EP there was only two tracks in, then it goes to show how dynamically uninteresting Typecaste is.