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Antidote - The Rock Years

The Rock Years
by Dan Disorder at 27 October 2017, 7:26 AM

Well, ANTIDOTE was one of the pioneers of the first wave of Hardcore, and in the New York underground from 1983, they were an integral part of the fledgling musical movement and are legends in their hometown; that is quite a legacy to boast! Their debut EP “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, is now an absolute classic among this musical circle and is a shining example of how potent ’old school’ can still be. Speaking of which, Old School Metal Records have had the fortitude to release a big compilation of ANTIDOTE’s back catalogue, titled “The Rock Years”.

For the full duration of this album, the sign of their times is abundantly clear in every track. The guitar style, the drumming; and the vocal delivery are all textbook examples of heavy and extreme from the early eighties. The energy has that very inner city ring to it; you can imagine a circle pit on a Brooklyn basketball court, of enraged adolescence, as this album bellows from portable tape player up full blast. “Return 2 Burn” is the first track and it kicks open the door with that familiar hardcore punk swagger; this song is a blasting declaration that “…ANTIDOTE is back!!” and they are not taking any prisoners.

We’re Comin Afta You” does not relax the intensity by any means, there is a particular craziness in the vocal melodies here, I can’t quite put my finger on it; like a rambling delivery in parts that always falls into place at the end, very catchy track that one. Then you are greeted by the big stomping drum intro of “Positively Negative”; this is a more mid-paced number that has an awesome guitar riff that has more comparisons to early nineties Heavy Rock than Hardcore or Punk. Another consistency with ANTIDOTE is the lyrics really reflect the inner city life-style; concerns about money, belonging, and robust outbursts of self-confidence and standing up for yourself. Even though this album, for the most part, is showing its age; there are moments here that showed that ANTIDOTE was a little ahead of their time. They were not just another band from the first wave of their genre, but real leaders who inexplicable; never quite made it to the big time.

A great collection of songs here; it has been quite a while since I listened to a band like this and is a very welcome change. I do recommend this.

Song Writing: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Return 2 Burn
2. We’re comin’ afta you
3. Positive Negative
4 Be true to yourself
5. Road Warrior
6. Foreign Job Lot (live)
7. No No No
8. The Choice
9. Another Day
10. Something Must Be Done
11. Don’t Care
12. Rageman
Robb Nunzio - Guitar
Tristan Michael - Bass
REA - Drums
Drew Stone - Vocals
Record Label: Old School Metal Records


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Edited 03 June 2023

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