Today marks a pivotal moment for Cincinnati’s hardcore scene as the straight edge band Suffocate Faster releases their much-anticipated EP, “This Is The Way Vol. 2.” Available now via Smartpunk Records, this release completes their two-part EP series, signifying a triumphant return to the hardcore arena since their last release in 2008.
Fans of intense, unadulterated hardcore music will find solace in these tracks, which are laden with the band’s signature energy and a blend of messages advocating a straight edge lifestyle and positivity.
Guitarist Chris Towning shares, “Stoked to keep putting out new music and stay in the public’s ears. Can’t wait for everyone to see what more we’ve added to this chapter of Suffocate Faster.”
Suffocate Faster, which emerged in 2001, sought to diverge from the prevailing trends of Cincinnati’s music scene at the time. Influenced by hardcore and metal stalwarts like Hatebreed and Earth Crisis, they aimed to create a sound that was more aggressive and resonant than the mainstream offerings. After releasing two full-length records, “Only Time Will Tell” (2004) and “Don’t Kill The Messenger” (2006), the band underwent a period of inactivity.
However, in 2019, with the reformation led by original guitarist and founder Chris Towning, Suffocate Faster found a new direction, drawing both old fans and new listeners.
Towning delves into the creative process behind the two-part EP. “In 2023, with everyone’s short attention spans, we needed a release schedule that would keep our audience engaged. The gap between the two EPs allowed our music to evolve — different mindsets, climates, and social contexts influenced our sound distinctly.” He further emphasizes the band’s straight-edge roots, particularly evident in the artwork featuring a prominent ‘X’, symbolizing their commitment to the lifestyle.
Despite the ebb and flow of the straight-edge movement in Cincinnati’s music scene, Suffocate Faster remains steadfast in their commitment to this philosophy. This consistency in their belief system is reflected in their music, resonating with fans who have followed the band through its journey.
Stream “This Is The Way Vol 2” now, order physical copies through Smartpunk Records, and check out the full message from Chris Towning, guitarist of Suffocate Faster, below. He dove into a few talking points that he hasn’t addressed in other interviews yet, such as the decision to release a two-part EP, the artwork concepts, etc.
“Well guys it’s 2023, we all have very short attention spans. Add to the mix that you also need new things to “talk about” every couple of months to keep things interesting and keep that attention.
We’re not the type of band that tours full-time anymore, so we don’t have the constant influx of content generation as well. So really, the release schedule and EP idea was the best way to keep things moving forward and play to the nature of the audience. New content every couple of months and the PR to come along with it. New music to get fans excited again. It also lets the music develop over time.
The process was really great because of the gap in releases. If they were all recorded at the same time, they would have a similar vibe or feel. Since they were written and recorded almost a year apart, things were very different. Mindsets, weather, song progressions, political climate, things were just different and I think that shows in the newer songs. We always write aggressive music, but I think it’s clear that the new EP is different from the last.
We’ve always been a straight-edge band, so it’s always been important that it came across in our art musically and physically. Hitting it right on the nose with an X for both covers in opposite colors was for me the most logical way of doing so. It’s really something to put the X ahead of even the band logo. I think it says what needs to be said. Suffocate Faster is a proud straight-edge band, don’t forget it.
Coming up in the Cincinnati music scene when we did Straight Edge was a huge part of the hardcore culture. It doesn’t always have the same presence, it tends to ebb and flow. Even Suffocate Faster has done its fair share of the same ebb and flow However, the straight-edge lifestyle for us, will always remain.”
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