I've heard of plenty of supergroups in my time, but I'll be damned if I've ever heard of one band trading one brother for another to create a new sound and new band. Indeed, back in 2010, the entire backing band of Shutdown formed The Last Stand with Shutdown's singer's brother, who also happens to be Mike Scondotto of NYHC stalwarts Inhuman.

But first a side story. Sometime around 2003 or 2004 the guys in the local band Fighting Chance were on the same label as this band from Canada called Fate To Hate. When I heard them it was a revelation. At the time, hardcore that wasn't a downtuned third rate Shattered Realm clone, terrible youth crew revival, or metalcore garbage was sometimes few and far between. Fate To Hate came through and floored me with their clean, back to basics, almost punkish intensity and classic NYHC sound. The fact that The Last Stand shares a few aural similarities to Fate To Hate made my day when I heard this record.

Mike and the band have brought the best elements from both of their prior bands to the table here. Mike's trademark vocals are clear and biting, and the Shutdown guys are as tight as ever. One thing I've always claimed is that a hardcore band is only as good as their drummer, and The Last Stand more than benefits from Jimmy McCormack. With him the music is fast, precise, and intense.

Many of the songs here showcase a simplistic catchiness that would be mishandled by less talented or experienced bands. Take for instance the four chord fury of "Good Day To Die." I've heard bands attempt this kind of style and sound like tired, weak hacks compared to the bands they culled their influences from. Not here though, many of the songs on this record I guarantee will be hummed in my head for the next week or two at least.

Shades of every favorite NYHC band, practically in history, shine through, from H2O to Sick Of It All to Killing Time to Madball to Cro Mags, even acts like CIV, OS101, and Cause For Alarm, but at no point does this sound like a lazy rehashing of a style. The Last Stand ends up sounding like The Last Stand, much like Wisdom In Chains only sounds like Wisdom In Chains, despite proudly wearing their influences like a badge. It all comes down to integrity (lame hardcore pun?). Are you trying to ape a style, or are you just trying to get out there and kill it as best you can? Most fans can tell the difference instantly, and I believe The Last Stand is in the latter category, and this record benefits highly from it.