New 6-song release from this Portland hardcore band. Totally savage and ripping.
Our take: Fourth tape from this Portland band and damn it smokes. Seriously, someone press this to vinyl, stat! Chow Line remind me of other Portland bands like Suck Lords and U-Nix in that they’re capable of playing very fast, but they also have a tougher Poison Idea-type element to their sound. Everything is tight and snappy, the recording is perfect, and the vocalist has a burly, Jerry A-type shout/bellow. While a lot of tape releases can seem half-baked or thrown together, this one feels like a proper EP with a deliberate and exciting build-up across the tracks. The mid-paced churn of “Hell” leads into the faster “Crisis,” which sets the stage for my favorite track on the tape, “The Train.” Usually it’s the mid-paced parts that stand out on a hardcore record, but “The Train” is the fastest track here, sounding like Pick Your King-era Poison Idea trying to match Siege’s blistering tempos. The tape ends with “False Death,” where double bass drum (the only place it appears on the tape) ratchets up the intensity one final notch. You wouldn’t expect it with an unassuming title like Demo No. 4, but this is one of the best hardcore releases I’ve heard in recent memory.