The world is, quite frankly, fucked. With all the shitiness in the world today – whether it be on a global, political scale, or a more local one with your crappy job – it can be hard to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. That’s why we all need a band like Take Offense in our lives. Sitting between old-school NYHC and 80’s crossover, Tensions on High is an EP that contains no small amount of crushing riffs, killer leads, and a huge amount of energy. It’s one of the most convincing, passionate hardcore releases to have come my way in recent times, and is just what you need when things seem bad.
Whilst a lot of old-school hardcore and crossover albums seem content to hit one note or feel and ride it for the duration of a full album, Tensions on High is a surprisingly diverse record; though it never strays far from the core sound of said styles, it finds plenty of interesting directions to explore within the niche. There are full on metal heroics; menacing, mid-tempo build-ups and breakdowns; and, at points, a sense of space and melody that provides a wonderful contrast to the hard-hitting nature of the majority of Tensions on High. The title track, in particular, is an absolute stormer; and closer ‘Just Because You Believe’ brings the 80’s metal to the fore with great results.
Still, you don’t come to an album like Tensions on High for the more creative leanings. You look to music like this for riffs, leads, pummeling drums, passionate vocals – all the things that make hardcore and crossover so urgent and vital. On those fronts, it’s hard to fault the album. It brims with energy and righteous passion, all delivered via some of the best modern crossover this side of Power Trip. There’s no arguing with a record like this, and Tensions on High is the sound of a band at the top of their game.