Post-hardcore outfit Red Hare, consisting mainly of members of the now defunct late ’80s hardcore band Swiz, have produced one of the most unusual releases this year with their debut record Nites of Midnite. Being able to maintain a level of aggression and heaviness to stick out in an overcrowded genre while still being interesting and talented enough to appeal to a wide range of punk fans is somewhat of a feat, and Red Hare has achieved it effortlessly. Reminiscent of their previous bands, Red Hare is a great mash up of different hardcore styles, and Nites of Midnite gives equal attention to all of them taking the rare, and often misused, opportunity to make almost every heavy music fan happy, and doing it right.
Nites of Midnite opens with the single “Horace,” a relentless, driving example of the high energy hardcore that is to come for the rest of the record. Vocalist Shawn Brown brings a perfectly abrasive vocal style to the energetic, and at times chaotic, instrumentals, specially in the track “Dialed In.” There are even a few poppy moments, such as the song “Message to the Brick,” that make it an accessible record to listeners who aren’t particularly keen on hardcore. While trying to bring together a number of different sounds can often leave an album feeling scattered and disjointed, Nites of Midnight plays through in an unexpectedly smooth way.
Fans of Swiz and those that maybe found them a bit too grating for their liking, along with any new and unfamiliar listeners, will definitely enjoy Nites of Midnite. This band is a perfect example of how a hardcore band can mature gracefully, so to speak, through the years and continue to produce interesting and new music without losing touch with their old sound. Red Hare is definitely a band to keep an eye out for; their future albums are sure to be even better.