"Change the Game" (I Scream; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


"Change the Game" is more of the same bludgeoning hardcore punk we've come to expect from Backfire! The sledgehammer guitars are there, the devastating rhythms, the screaming vocals. 

What's perhaps different about "Change the Game" are the lyrics. Many of the songs on "Change the Game" are surprisingly introspective in nature and that's not what you'd expect from a band like Backfire! For example, from "Take Me Home": "Will I reach the unreachable - the one thing that makes my life complete - or will I keep on searching; and watch it slip away from me." Or, from "Let It Go": "Thinking back on my care free days - when I was younger with unbroken dreams - so full of belief, but so naive; Not knowing that these thoughts last forever - they last forever."

Backfire fans shouldn't worry that the band is losing their edge, however. Even though the lyrics above may be surprisingly ... sensitive ... they're still delivered with the classic Backfire! thrust. And many of the songs on the CD, including "Can't Hold Me Down" and "Where It Ends," are as rebellious and as defiant as you'd want.

"Change the Game" is another solid collection of hardcore from Backfire! And, it shows the band maturing a little. It'll be interesting to see what they do in the future.

Backfire!: Pat - vocals; Wyb - guitar; Frank - bass; Igor - drums.

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"Still Dedicated" (Victory; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Backfire's "Still Dedicated" is twelve tracks of the purest hardcore punk rock you're likely to find anywhere. You can tell just by popping the CD into your player ... you don't even have to hit "play." Because, when you've got a CD with 12 tracks that runs just over 28 minutes in its entirety, you know you're going to be in for a fast and brutal ride.

"Still Dedicated" is all about guitars that pound like jackhammers, drums that sound like junkies being hit over the head with police batons and vocals that are all about rage and nothing but rage.

There are those who would call Backfire hardcore through and through but I catch a little punk influence there as well (punk like the Dead Boys, not Blink 182). Anyway, fans of both hardcore and hard punk will be pleased with what they hear on "Still Dedicated."

The title of the CD and the title track are an homage to the band's drummer, Richard Bruinen, who passed away in July of 1999.

Backfire: Pat - vocals; Wyb - guitar; Frank - bass; Igor - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:10 -0400.