All bands have influences, and they obviously determine what that band's sound will actually end up to be. Coastlines, from Georgia, have chosen (or were divinely predestined) to be influenced by some of the best bands of the 90s and early 2000s. This means that their sound varies, but never manages to be scattered: which is extremely rare.

"The Ripple Effect" is reminiscent of some of my favorite bands, and the best parts of those bands; I heard everything from "Songs Of Separation"-era 108 to "EYEWTKAS"-era glassJAw, and every second of it was a kick ass ride through crushing hardcore. Similar, but not quite influenced, by their GA contemporaries Foundation, Coastlines is like no other band I've ever heard. While heavier hardcore has never been my thing, this band mixes in pummeling hardcore with 90s melodic hardcore so well, that I couldn't help but be 100% into it. From "To Forge A Dying Thought" to "Disavow," there's about 20 bands that come to mind, but I could never put my finger on one that they "ripped off."

"To Forge A Dying Thought" is one of the heavier tracks on the album, crushing through 2:40 at agonizingly slow Foundation or 108-speeds that are absolutely unrelenting. From beginning to end, there's melody thrown in to season, but never muting or softening the blows from guitar riffs and strained vocals.

The drums on this album are not only well done, but are essential in the old-school stylings of this EP. Like they recorded the drum tracks 15 years ago, but aged them like a fine wine. Killer. Crisp, clear, and fitting as hell.

"Reflections Void" is a melodic masterpiece, with that borderline-spoken-word-but-not-quite sound that I love so much. Unlike their contemporaries, though, all the elements of this song (even though they have been done before) never come close to being cheesy or overdone. Like I've said, I can't put my finger on the bands this reminds me of, but I'm completely content not knowing--it's so original that I'm blown away. No cookie cutter here.

One of the biggest, and best, surprises on the album was "Disavow." The closing track, it is the closest thing to a perfect turn-of-the-century song I've ever heard; the only difference is that this track was released this year. The melody of the intro just shocked me, but was so wholly welcome, that I just grinned. I can't imagine a better closing track to the album. This is a certified head-bobbing intro, followed by the endless headbanging and moving of the rest of the track.

One thing is for sure about Coastlines: there's no "style biting" here. This EP is old-school, but only in the sense that it sounds like it was shelved for 20 years, and brought out now. It is entirely unique, entirely refreshing, and a brilliant album. Like I said before, this isn't even really "my" style of hardcore, but goddamn, this is good. They're releasing the 7" on vinyl soon, and you'd be crazy to not pick it up.