Album Review: Fore – Hombres

Album Review: Fore - Hombres

Album Review: Fore - Hombres
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

It doesn’t take too long into Pet, the first track on Fore’s debut release, to gather that there’s something different about the band’s take on the So-Cal punk sound. This may well be due to the background of the personnel on display; Hombres features former members of Kreator, Massacre, The Absence and Venom, Inc and opens with one of the most metallic guitar sounds heard on a punk record for many a long year.

For the most part, Fore manage to keep a lid on the Metal tendencies and show their colours as successors to the legacy of Bad Religion and the Descendants. Pet acts as something of an overture for the following twenty-minutes or so as it shows off the band’s chops, ticking all the boxes of what is expected of them in order to join the ranks of such exalted company.

Album Review: Fore - Hombres

All the way across Hombres are those So-Cal tropes: the fist-pumping energy, the rapid fire guitar riffing, the call and respond vocals are all in evidence on tracks like Churchill’s Quote, World Won’t Wait and Today We Rise (No Tomorrow). Catchy hooks abound across the record and I defy any listener not to start to move during All Comes Crashing or Find a Way.

But there’s something else at play on Hombres; something more than simply aping an established genre. Possibly due to the history of the band themselves, but there is a distinctively metallic sensibility to Fore’s work. For all of Movement’s guitar and vocal lines, there’s something about the drawn-out nature of Brian Stephenson’s voice here that belies any debt owing to Black Flag or Pennywise.

Machine gun riffing from Taylor Nordberg permeates every facet of Hombres, none more so than on Song for a Friend, which demonstrates a guitar sound as thick as treacle and as precise as a guided missile.

Lead track, Diagnosis, is the distillation of Fore’s sound, played out in less than three minutes. The catchy riff, the precision guitar work and marching bass lines, all supporting a more refined, slower vocal.

Hombres is a short presentation of twelve slices of So-Cal punk rock, albeit played with an intensely metal sensibility. But, when you put punk and metal together, the result is a pit full of bodies and a damned good time.

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