Protester: Hide from Reality 12" (new)

Protester: Hide from Reality 12" (new)


Tags: · 10s · hardcore · mosh · north carolina · recommended · sxe · ushc
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Washington, D.C. may be the birthplace of the straight edge philosophy as articulated in song, but it certainly hasn’t been the wellspring of straight edge hardcore that many would think it would be. In the nearly forty years since the term was coined Boston, Southern California, New York City, and even Cleveland and suburban New Jersey have laid claim to the mantle of straight edge hardcore mecca. All the while, D.C. would sporadically spit out a band or two, but never one able to lead the way on the national scene while maintaining the root elements of this distinct musical tradition.

Protester emerged about five years ago as a one-man-band, a study in the isolation that such a lifestyle inevitably leads to. “Hide From Reality”, their debut LP and first release as a full band, is their definitive statement as a group ready to raise the profile of D.C. hardcore to new heights. Free of the empty anthems and melodic intrusions of the worst of the genre, “Hide From Reality” is equally informed by the more nihilistic side of punk while retaining the harder edge of the fiercest in their class. With the top grade musicianship that only years on the road can bring, this record forcefully asserts their place at the top of the heap.


Our take: After a whole slew of releases, here’s the proper debut full-length from DC’s Protester. Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time that they’ve recorded with the full band rather than having Connor play all of the instruments, and between that and the natural stretching-out that tends to happen when a band attempts to write a full-length this actually sounds quite a bit different than the earlier Protester releases. While the foundation is still in early 80s-style Boston hardcore, there’s a distinct metallic element here that I don’t remember being so prominent before. Instead of sounding like straight SSD / Abused worship, on Hide from Reality Protester remind me of a mix of Negative FX, LP-era Judge and early-ish Integrity. There are also some unexpected twists and turns, like the total Jon Christ riff that starts off the b-side of the record. It’s not easy to write a hardcore LP, and while this one does spin at 45RPM it definitely feels like a more ambitious and fully realized statement than anything Protester has done so far. Easily their best release and strongly recommended if you like this early 80s-leaning style of straight edge hardcore.