Hailing from the beautiful West Coast, Desperate Living plays melodic, brooding hardcore punk a la Verse or The Carrier that is sure to turn heads, and put a smile on the faces of true hardcore purveyors. With most of their songs clocking in at 3 minutes or more, which is incredible for hardcore punk, this release breaks the mold and sets the bar for what hardcore is capable of becoming.

Opening with acoustic guitar a la Give Up The Ghost, this album is somber and personal, festering with emotion and frustration, led by gunshot snares, melodic guitars, and abrasive-but-fitting vocals. "Change" quickly opens from acoustic picking to a full-out melodic hardcore verse reminiscent of Verse's "From Anger And Rage." Sonically pleasing, emotionally draining, and ultimately rewarding, this song is par-for-the-course exactly what I wanted from this band; and they delivered.

"Nothing" begins where "Change" left off, with a The Carrier-esque intro and verse, and alternating fast, furious riffs with palm-muted half time for an original-sounding melodic hardcore song that never allows the listener to be bored for even a second (a classic pitfall of most melodic hardcore bands). Following soon after is "Void," one of the more brooding songs on the EP, with incredible drum production (which I always love), and subtle guitars constantly providing a platform for the vocals, which--I believe--is a great strategy for hardcore punk bands. We scream because they won't listen to us speak.

"Free" is the last original song on this EP, and the longest on the album. With a blistering first half, and a beautiful, melodic second half, this song mixes styles perfectly--similar to many of the songs off of Have Heart's "Songs To Scream At The Sun." Powerful, both in style and content, the only complaint I have is that this song seems to go by almost too quickly. Gorgeous melodic hardcore song.

Their cover of Negative FX's "Citizen's Arrest" is very well done. However, it's pretty hard to mess up a cover of a song as good as this one. Regardless, they did it well, capturing the intensity of the original. Right on.

All in all, boys and girls, this is NOT an album to sleep on. These West Coast boys make incredible music, in the top of their genre. Really a treat to listen to. Buy their cassette before it sells out!