Fury: Paramount 12" (new)

Triple B Records


At the apex of Fury’s short and startling rise, from a providential birth in late 2013 through era-defining performances at America’s Hardcore fest in 2014 and 2015, the Orange County five-piece has delivered Paramount, a debut full-length album of grace, erudition, and effortless virtuosity that guarantees Fury’s induction into the tiny fraternity of epochal hardcore bands — e.g., Embrace, Unbroken, Mental — in whose sonic singularity and aesthetic intelligence the best minds of successive generations have seen themselves reflected. Paramount is impossible to characterize in the usual terms of A-meets-B direct influence: maybe you hear Burn, maybe you hear Outburst or Beyond or Supertouch, but no combination of such references conveys the subtlety of the songwriting, the precision of the musicianship, or the ferocity of Jeremy Stith’s vocal performance, by way of which one encounters the best written and most cleverly phrased hardcore lyrics in recent memory. Paramount is, as they say in the groves of academe, sui generis. And yet to apprehend the lyric sheet’s overt intertextuality (no less than Shakespeare, Don Delillo and Praise’s Andy Norton, among others, are given co-writing credit), to hear the multiplicity of guest vocalists, to spend the 12 minutes required to read the voluminous thanks list — all this is to know, as the band itself surely does, that Paramount belongs no more to the individuals who recorded it than to the entire roiling, loving, terrifying, inspiring, hateful, romantic, literate, ignorant, fantastically dynamic culture that gave rise to it.

Our take: Mature, ambitious youth crew (or at least youth crew-ish) hardcore? Is that not a contradiction in terms? The older I get, youth crew culture's propensity to rehash and repackage the same thing over and over and over again and sell it (in multiple "colorways!") to "the kids" kind of baffles me. However, Fury sound quite a bit different... even if there are some reference points to Revelation-type bands (though, admittedly, the more progressive ones like Burn and Beyond), Fury seem completely contrary to that rehash mentality. Indeed, they are almost obsessively progressive, and Paramount sounds as if the band has gone through these songs with a fine-toothed comb and systematically excised any lyric, riff, beat, or anything else that feels over-familiar or played-out. Even when the band uses a common trope of this style of music, like say the guitar dive-bomb, they manage to do it in a way that you aren't expecting and that comes off as exciting. I suppose if you wanted to criticize this, the two most likely things I could imagine saying are that it's kind of obtuse (sometimes you wish they'd just give you a big dumb riff), and that it comes off as a little bit pretentious. If you can hang with, say, the vibe of early Converge you won't mind this at all, as there's something of that artsiness here as well... like they have one foot in the progressive mentality of 90s, Fugazi-inspired bands, but aren't willing to give up their heaviness in pursuit of artistic ambition. I mean, at the end of the day this is a fucking weird record, but if you're under thirty it'll probably spin your head completely around... and even if you're over 30, you'll hear this and think "man, why aren't there more bands like this these days?"
Tags: 10s hardcore sxe USHC youth crew