Comeback Kid – Symptoms And Cures

You can’t fault a band for trying something new and breaking out of their shell. Sometimes it’s work and sometimes it’s a travesty. The latest from Comeback Kid is a mixed bag. For a band that’s been pretty straight forward in their sound, sticking with a clean straight edge hardcore punk sound, the subtle shifts on Symptoms And Cures don’t always play as successful as I hoped. 3 straight great albums and Symptoms And Cures falls short of my expectations.

Right out of the gate Symptoms And Cures is far more aggressive then Comeback Kid’s previous efforts. Vocally Andrew Neufeld is finding his voice in the band. It’s less yelling and more straight forward screaming. There’s a subtle reminder of Refused in his lyrics. But Do Yourself a Favor, the albums kick off track, doesn’t feel like a Comeback Kid song. The aggression alone gives the song a distinct sound and the lack of a real gang vocal chant is an oddity for the band.

Crooked Floors seems more like CBK but the hook is more melodic and aggressive at the same time, it’s a little weird. And it’s a theme that carries through the record. You might the aggression is a carry over from Broadcasting, an album that lyrically was more in your face but Symptoms And Cures in sound, vocally and musically, carries the aggression to a whole new level. The fun that had been in CBK’s music in gone.

Symptoms And Cures isn’t a bad record. It’s just hard for me to listen to a more aggressive CBK. As the record progresses, you hear more of the classic CBK sound. Because of All the Things You Say, The Concept Says, and Symptoms and Cures are great hardcore punk songs. But the overall feel of the album is different from previous CBK releases. Even the artwork seems odd to me. The closing track, Pull Back the Reigns has an almost tough guy feel to it.

It’s aggressive hardcore which people will love but Symptoms And Cures isn’t as fun as previous CBK records. And that hurts it in my book.

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