Due to inevitable physical exhaustion, most hardcore bands exist for a year or two, then break up and reform eight years later when their myth has swelled enough to make them “legendary.” The Lowell-spawned Now Denial skipped that middle part and celebrated their 10th year as a band this past May. By doing so, they’ve probably displayed more gumption than many of their musical heroes. Longevity isn’t the only thing that differentiates them from the hardcore herd. Most bands who feign indifference to genre conventions are liars. But Now Denial are not full of shit when they claim to value what’s heavy over what’s hardcore. Scatter-shots of metal sludge and exasperated proto-emo throat obliteration surge throughout ramshackle fury that’s tailor-made to terrify the police when they arrive to put the kibosh on a basement show.
RUNNERS-UP: Radio Control, Have Nots, Reports