REVIEW BY Michelle Cooney
How Well Do You Really Know Yourself?
May 1, 2020
Hailing from Newcastle, U.K., GroundCulture has brought something fresh to the melodic hardcore scene with How Well Do You Really Know Yourself?
Opening track “Life Won’t Wait” is at first deceivingly hardcore punk-inspired, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you can pigeonhole their sound. Within seconds it’s obvious there’s a lot more going on here than your average melodic hardcore.
Following track “REALEYES” is a bit of a genre mashup with electronic-sounding guitar touches and an almost hip-hop beat interspersed with metal. From the thrashy breakdown riff in “Blue Minds” to the soul-searching acoustic “1974”, the album is full of welcome surprises that round out GroundCulture’s sound.
Musically, the album is at its best when the band lets loose: the intense and technical breakdowns, the adrenaline-filled verses. Occasional clean vocals and atmospheric guitar leads offset the heaviness and offer a glimpse into the band’s versatility.
Comparable to how the lyrics are performed, subject matter on the album is at times aggressive, at others accessible. There is emotional complexity here, and more than a little PMA. On “Unbreakable”: “You are unbreakable / When you believe in yourself your heart will follow.”
How Well Do You Really Know Yourself? not only asks a question of its listeners – it challenges them to find the consciousness within themselves.