Add to the list of things I shouldn’t do: go see The Enemy Within live at the Midway –> download their new cd –> drive down I-90 while blasting the shit out of it. I was seriously going about 100 mph when I realized I was in the throes of awesomeness and needed to chill the fuck out. This IS hardcore like you wish it was. Intense, in-your-face, and hitting hard as hell.
The Enemy Within’s debut effort, As Long As I Can Walk, I’ll Step Out of Line has been a 4-year “labor of love” for frontman Joe McGeary and drummer Mike Mahoney, veteran of Boston’s legendary Blood for Blood. Along with guitarists Bill Cunningham and Pat Cronin, and bassist Ryan Dillon, The Enemy Within released their album on June 24th. Although originally working with What We Share Records, the band ultimately decided to self-release, and hard copies of the cd are due out soon, but you can find them now on iTunes and Spotify.
The album kicks off with the short intro “This House Must Fall,” and follows with “All This Will End,” definitely one of the stand-outs of the album. As Long As I Can Walk was described by Mike as, “It’s our stance against the inner demons. Taking a stand and saying not me, not today, no way.” Those words are echoed in the lyrics of “Digging Deep,” a hard-hitting song about fighting for today, and featuring some awesome drums from Mike Mahoney. The songs are all very lyrics-driven, and Joe’s point of view comes through clearly in the lyrics and the intensity with which he sings. “Spasms” seems to be the big hit of the album, both in itself and in how the audience reacts to it when they play it live. It jumps from a fast pace to a much slower ending, but maintains incredible, fist-pumping intensity throughout. When The Enemy Within played at the Midway Café on 6/24, Joe dedicated this song to the new generation of hardcore fans at the all-ages show, with the lyrics admonishing us to not “let the dream die.”
“One More Time” again explores the idea of age, as Joe sings, “We’re not 24 anymore/So why don’t you act your age”—the band acknowledges that they are veterans of the hardcore scene, and are working to rekindle the roots of the genre. “What You Lack” is a quick one about “honor, loyalty, and respect.” They also sample a (frankly, hilarious) interview from Perez Hilton—the sense of irony is definitely strong as they launch from his pussification of life (or whatever the hell he’s talking about) into “Scared of Life.” Several of the best songs are buried at the end of the album: “No Escape” and ”Hate Me” are both well worth a listen.
You can truly hear the talent that these musicians bring to each instrument individually—this is not just screaming over a wall of noise. These veterans of the Boston hardcore scene are bringing the sound they love to a new generation of fans. Listen to this album and remember where the fuck you came from and why you love this music. If for no other reason, listen to these songs and learn them, and GO SEE THEM LIVE. I think they could be one of Boston’s biggest draws once people see them a few times.