I was thinking to myself recently that it has been a little while since I’ve heard some good new straightedge/youth crew style hardcore music. I’ve never been straightedge myself, but I’ve always dug a lot of straightedge bands and I’ve always thought that the extra bit of sobriety helped fuel all the rage that surrounded the movement, especially in the 90’s. So, I was more than happy to give listen to the new 7” from BERTHOLD CITY called “What Time Takes” (War Records).
Featuring members who have been a part of bands like Strife, World Be Free, Internal Affairs and Allegiance, Berthold City is bringing back California straight edge into the spotlight. Singer Andrew Kline (who you’ve probably seen on guitar with Strife for a million years) holds nothing back with the opening self-titled track, “What Time Takes”, with his gritty style vocals reminiscent of Suburban Scum. Raw guitars and a heavy breakdown make this a killer opening track and it gives you a good taste of what this band is all about. “No One To Blame” is all about the circle pits. Drummer Andy Galindo kicks off this song and is shortly met by the rest of the band with harsh intensity. A heavy breakdown with “No one left to blame” being chanted over it would be the strong point of this song. “Beware The Snakes”, the next track, is about being careful who you trust in life. Dennis Mc Donnell and Devin Dale share guitar duties and they go non-stop throughout this whole song. Harsh vocals warning you to “Beware the Snakes!”, send the song into an all-out breakdown that could get a kindergarten class in the pit! The last song on this effort, “Broken Foundation”, showcases bassist John Eightclip’s bass chops. Andrew Kline’s spoken “Broken Foundation” intro is reminiscent of Ray Capo on any Youth of Today record and the music stood right in line with what I just described. This is my favorite song on this effort, as it has all the important elements of a 90’s hardcore song incorporated into it like a well-balanced meal. I highly recommend getting your hands on this follow up to their “Moment Of Truth” EP which came out a little less than a year ago. It is well worth the big punch wrapped in this small package.