Oh shit. Oh man. Listen. Dude. The Southern California hardcore band Initiate has been putting out music since 2016, and they released a much-liked debut album called Before Long… in 2018. Today, they’re following it up with a new EP called Lavender, and I have to tell you: Holy shit. It fucking rips. It’s so good.
If you listen to hardcore, Initiate’s sound isn’t anything you haven’t heard. It’s a driving, passionate take on early-’90s youth-crew stuff. A whole lot of bands mine that territory. But none of them do it like this. On first listen, there is so much force and urgency in this six-song EP. Singer Crystal Pak has one of the best commanding growls I’ve heard in ages. The band has big riffs, and they bring a sense of snap and precision to what they do. They really bounce, too.
There’s some cool aesthetic variation on Lavender: A great slow-build intro track, a quick-breather acoustic instrumental. But most of the time, Initiate play straight-up old-school hardcore about as well as it can possibly be played. Stream the EP below.
The self-released Lavender EP is out now, and you can get it at Bandcamp.