While we pride ourselves for painful honesty, we’re aware this doesn’t always translate in practice. Fear of shunning harmless peeps in a tightly knit scene where you’re bound to bump elbows with yr enemies, or worse, the band you just slagged off. To put it plainly, so many bands pass through our fingers because we love them on principle– for simply existing in Norway– but we don’t dare review ’em. The sound of the naive, innocent small-town, -have-never-heard-the-trillion-other-bands-outside-Norway that sound, exactly like you- syndrome. Whuzza nigga suppozed to do?
Dominic are one such band.
A band that’s been on the Oslo hardcore scene for a bit, and should be expected to rise to the challenge of a third full-length. To be honest, it’s hard to distinguish Persona from their last release a few years back, Nord. And placed next to local contemporaries like Social Suicide or Rhumble in Rhodos, the production and song-writing pales in comparison.
Opener, “To Live For” gives the album a pretty rough start. Typical early-2000s hardcore chorus in the tune of irritating Blood Brothers-cockiness. Dominic’s got the hipster hardcore swagger down, see “Dreamless Sleep”. But it’s a tune we’ve heard so many times before. “Right For Me” picks up with some promise. “Expiration Date” has a pretty sweet bassline. Then some awful tunes erupt. By “Last Breath”, my mind is wandering off and reminiscing over a better age with better bands of this genre, Furnace Fest circa-2001, bands like Eso-Charis, Shai-Hulud, Mewithoutyou, Luti-biscuit… etc. etc.
I think this album solidifies a consensus. That Dominic is the perfect band to warm up the stage for mature hardcore acts. Sufficient to get the crowd in-the-mood. The band you watch to feel like you’re supporting a local scene. Yet, Persona is painfully lackluster. Years on the road hasn’t given them the urge to step up, and push the envelope of a severely saturated, and aging musical style.