It’s hard being positive all the time. We’re not saying St. Louis foursome the Disappeared walk around with goofy grins on their faces all day, pogoing on cue, oblivious to the ills of the modern world. But their new album, Bridges, is seeping with positivity and hopefulness, all wrapped in a melodic hardcore package that’s as solid as their message. Think 7 Seconds meets Pennywise; then realize the scope of that combination. Melody, power, passion, politics. It’s all here. Like most melodic hardcore bands, the vocals are grating as hell; maybe that’s always been part of the appeal, some dude who can barely carry a tune just forcing his bleeding heart in your face (see Jim Lindberg, Mr. Chi Pig, and the bulk of the ’90s-era Epitaph Records singers). The Disappeared’s Brad Jokerst sounds like his balls are excruciatingly pinched in really tight whities underneath those baggy cargo shorts. But if anything, the vocals add to the authenticity, as do the speedy, galloping riffs, a drummer who bangs skins like he’s running in a hamster wheel and the semi-slapped bass digging through the powerful mix. The Disappeared aren’t doing anything new—the closest they get to modern music is the early 2000s with some Boy Sets Fire-influenced guitarwork—but they sure do the old school pretty damn good. Insert pogo jump here.
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