Hell must be chilly as I’m once again reviewing a CDC record and am about to give it a solid review. Five years ago was the last time the band released anything new in the form of the Burn EP. My initial review was that it was as I remembered early CDC and was nothing more than a mosh record with better lyrics and an improved vocal delivery from vocalist Brooke Schwartz. However, after having time to sit on the record it was definitely more experimental and, while still a “mosh” album, the sense of urgency to get to the breakdowns was never there. Songs progressed naturally instead of being a generic formula. So now in being delivered End and once again being asked to specifically review this record by more than one band member, I find myself curious to see if they will keep themselves from being a one hit wonder with me or can they hold my attention for two releases.

After my initial run through this new EP, I decided it was in my best interest to go digging through my old albums to see if I could find the bands 2003 demo. I wanted to see what kind of progress or regress has the band made over it’s over a decade run. That material is more fitting of my original review of Burn on a music level. It was simple and full of clichés and reminded me of something between old Bury Your Dead and early Death Before Dishonor material. Gang vocals, shit talking during a song intro, and a rush to get to the next big breakdown. Although it was easy, it served its purpose and provided something that kids could sing along to and fight invisible ninjas for 25 minutes. In many ways, atleast on a purely musical level, End is a more modern take on the old material. It’s a lot more simplistic in its progression than Burn was. There aren’t fake news reports, rick rollings, and as schizophrenic vocal patterns. However, much like Burn the need to get to the next chug riff isn’t as strong and allows the song to eventually get there when the time is right. Don’t worry, you shoes still need to be tied tight for the duration of the album but it’s not as elementary as the demo days.

Once again though, I have to go back to the vocals as being the game changer. Schwartz is on top of his craft as he mostly delivers hip-hop fueled lyrical patterns and only occasionally resorts to his old barking ways. He and guitarist Brendan Hagey have perfected the use of bouncing back and forth from front man to backing vocals. It shows a lot better how they work as a tandem when you see them perform live. I know that some people will scream blasphemy but I have to liken Schwartz to Rage Against The Machine frontman, Zach De La Rocha and that comparison is most appropriate on the closing track, Temple.

Speaking of Temple, this is easily the best song that CDC has written in their entire career. A cross between the aforementioned RATM and Renaissance era E-Town Concrete (the chorus will easily remind you of Mandibles). I think it’s in this experimentation that CDC has really found the sound they should be going for and I would like to see if they can put out another 5 songs that are in this realm. The hip-hop hardcore is a dying breed and mostly because bands can’t do it right anymore. CDC has proven they can do it right on atleast one track and they can be successful in producing more like it, this could be what really separates themselves from their peers.

While Burn still holds its place as my favorite CDC release due to its diversity and intensity, End is a fun blending of old meets new with the return to a more simple song writing approach with the evolved vocals. That and Temple being a really significant stand out track. CDC haters will continue to hate but they have made a believer out of me. End isn’t even out yet and I’m already interested in seeing what’s next.