Outsider is the sixth album from Comeback Kid and the first one they have released through Nuclear Blast Records. Despite several line up changes, the hardcore five-piece never falter; they plough on relentlessly and their sound continues to strengthen in the face of adversity. Now fronted by guitarist Andrew Neufeld, Comeback Kid have packed the album with everything that has made them successful in the past and more. Torrents of turbulent hardcore riffs and ferocious cut-throat vocals allow Outsider to hit faster and harder.
One of Comeback Kid’s strengths is their ability to churn out impressively consistent material. Opening track ‘Outsider’ makes this clear; it immediately hits the bar met by previous releases with its gravel-coated vocals, fast paced monstrous riffs and cohesive sound. After hearing the track’s bouncy chorus, it’s easy to imagine the positive and wild response a track like this would receive at a live show.
Comeback Kid have incorporated several guest vocals throughout the release which mixes up their sound. Devin Townsend features on ‘Absolute’, a track which showcases the strength and vigour of Comeback Kid riffs. ‘Consumed The Vision’ features vocals from Chris Cresswell; the track has a subtle element of groove which makes it catchy. ‘Moment in Time’ features North Cote and is a blisteringly rapid closing track, ending the album with the same kind of punch that it began with.
Comeback Kid can be criticised for not venturing outside of their comfort zones and sticking with what they know; however, there are a few moments throughout the Outsider where they plunge into less explored sounds. ‘Hell of a Scene’ fluctuates between gritty hardcore and a catchy clean gang vocal chorus. ‘Recover’ follows a similar vibe; Comeback Kid relax the tense coarse vocals and incorporate lighter moments. It sounds like a cross between hardcore and elements of pop-punk.
The opening riff for ‘Livid, I’m Prime’ is probably the fastest and most abrupt on the album. Comeback Kid are always trying to outdo themselves and this track certainly stands out as one of their strongest. The slick, sharp riffs are performed at an incredible speed and fit precisely alongside the aggressive vocals. Outsider is another solid release from Comeback Kid. The standard of the music they produce never falls and they continue to impress. If anything though, we’d like to see Comeback Kid step a bit further outside of their comfort zones and try something new.