So “Three Records” asked us (Sweet Empire) to write a piece about three records that inspired /had a huge impact on us. I (Rowald – singer Sweet Empire) tried to narrow the massive amount of cool records down to three and came up with these.
Bad Religion – Process Of Belief
Loads of people always swear that BR had their peak with Suffer/No Control and Against The Grain. I cannot disagree more. They’ve experienced a few peaks and maybe some “lows” but always maintained a reckoned force within punk rock in my opinion. This record was their come-back to Epitaph with original songwriter Mr. Brett (after their two “low” records No Substance and New America, who weren’t even that bad if I look back on it now). For me Process Of Belief hit all the right marks in energy, songwriting and lyrics. Listen to “Kyoto Now” a song that is still very relevant after 17 years (sadly). Bad Religion was always a band I loved but with this record I sort of decided that they were my favourite band ever. Not to say that this is my favourite release ever of them. That position seems to switch every week or so. I do want to add that Empire Strikes First is a great successor to this record and greatly underrated/probably equally as good.
Cave In – Jupiter
I don’t want to write about three punk rock records so I decided to try to add some diversity in my list. Cave In is a band that breathes diversity because they’ve switched styles massively in their career a couple of times. Before this record they’ve created uncompromising raging technical mathcore/metalcore. Suddenly they flipped the switch and came up with this space-rock/prog-rock/post-hardcore whatever masterpiece. It is definitely a record that needs to grow on you I think but in the end the songs and atmosphere really stuck with me. I’m a big fan of the production (Brian McTernan) who really gave this record an natural yet big sound. The drums are insanely well done. The song “Big Riff” is the highlight of this record; an epic 6min+ long song that moves from hardcore parts to beautiful melodies. For me it’s an emotional musical rollercoaster synonym to a well written Greek tragedy. Sadly bassplayer Caleb Scofield died at a young age last year.
Bane – Give Blood
End of the 90ties early 00’s was a very creative period in the hardcore scene. So many of my favourite records come from that era ( Suicide File – Twilight, The Hope Conspiracy – Endnote etc.). Bane always stood out because they didn’t follow the standard old school hardcore blueprint. They had weird bridges and sudden changes within their songs not similar to the more new school hardcore bands. It kept the music interesting. Lyrically they didn’t follow the cliché too. They were anti-macho, intelligent and social/political critical, spoke about self-reflection and dealing to maintain a certain view while the world around you changed, how people and the scene changed. The heartfelt and typical chanting of singer Aaron Bedard was the perfect format to scream that across. Give Blood is an energetic ride from start to finish (in 25 minutes) and captured everything I love from that era and hardcore overall. Accidentally this record was also produced by Brian McTernan who has the talent to capture bands in (or to) their prime.
Sweet Empire is a punk band from Holland. You can find their tunes on Spotify.