Bayonet EP

Most of the watchful eyes on Bayonet will be because it’s Senses Fail leader Buddy Nielsen doing the hardcore thang with a few buddies, namely Suburban Scum drummer Paul Klein and producers Jeremy Comitas and Will Putney, who also play in the Banner and Fit For An Autopsy, respectively.

Nielsen is at his finest here when he’s spitting venom and bile, really putting himself out on a limb lyrically (sample: “I hate myself/I hate my fucking self,” from 90-second closer “New York Minutes”). But when he slips back into nice-guy Buddy and does a little Senses Fail-style crooning (as in the last section of opener “Nightmare”), it gets a little awkward, even if he does throw in a “psyche” at the end. “Who’s Gonna Want Me Now?” starts out with a rousing “One, two, fuck you!” and sticks to the pummeling hardcore all the way through, and we can’t help but think that’s more like it.

The best thing Nielsen could have done here would have been to bury his head, let the rage consume him and try to forget about melody altogether. When he does this, it’s a great mix of Deathwish Inc.-style hardcore (think Blacklisted and Modern Life Is War), and even though that kind of stuff is about as common as bad tattoos in a circle pit these days, it still works well. You can tell the rest of the guys are onboard big-time; Klein does his best to inject dirty, raw riffing in these tracks while Comitas and Putney lock down some wicked beats and fast breakdowns. Still, it might be hard to find an audience for Bayonet until they go 100 percent hardcore and get Nielsen to only exorcise his emo-demons during his main gig.

Mightier Than Sword