I almost feel as if liking Wisdom In Chains is too easy sometimes.
We’re talking about a band that makes tough as nails hardcore records with huge choruses, sing a longs and mosh parts. Not a note out of place. Not a second of self-indulgent wankery. And yet none of it comes off as contrived or pandering. They’re like Blood for Blood with a slightly better attitude towards life, and anyone who says they don’t like Blood for Blood is lying. That shit’s just mathematically impossible.
The Missing Links continues from where Everything You Know left off 3 years ago. And follows on the heels of the Pocono Ghosts 7” from last year. This record delivers another 13 tracks of punk and oi! tinted hardcore that will surely fuel a healthy dose of mayhem in whatever room WIC plays.
In a lot of ways, there’s not much new to report here. Mad Joe still packs one of the strongest voices in hardcore. The guitar work is still fast and just melodic enough to worm it’s way in and stay stuck in your head. There’s still a heartfelt song about dogs. You ever hear a Wisdom In Chains record? That’s what this is.
The most glaring example on here of something that this band hasn’t tried before is the inclusion of Slaine on “Top of the World.” Some people will always balk at rapping on hardcore songs (the 90’s and Limp Bizkit ruined that for everyone) but it really kind of works here. It’s not my favorite part of the album, but on paper it could have been awful and in practice it’s not.
Hardcore is a genre that rewards consistency. There are bands that you can go see once a year for a decade and still have the same fun every time. I’m talking about bands on the level of Bane, Terror, Madball, Sick of it All and the aforementioned Blood for Blood. If you didn’t already, you should really start putting Wisdom In Chains on that list.