Four years after the release of their Sophomore LP Lost In Life, New York Hardcore staple Backtrack is returning to center stage with full force. After a nearly three year break, the band is reclaiming their rightful spot at the forefront of New York Hardcore, taking the scene by storm with their most indignant release to date. Bad To My World is a seething culmination of nearly a decade of work put in by a band who has been an inextinguishable force in contemporary hardcore music.
Produced by Nick Jett of Terror, Bad To My World packs a powerful punch from start to finish. The first track, “War”, is a vitriolic introduction to an album that feels as largely political as it is personal. Vocalist James Vitalo starts the album by declaring “I’m screaming but they still won’t listen”, setting the discontented tone for the rest of the tracks to come.
The first single released from Bad To My World, “One With You”, is one of the most memorable, hooking the listener with catchy riffs reminiscent of 2011’s Darker Half, while still showing off new developments and growth as a band. The track is an open declaration of dissent, as Vitalo repeats the line “I’ll never be one with you”.
“The Deep Is Calling”, as well as its precursor “Bad To My World”, are rancorous yet obstinate in their apparent efforts to keep their heads above water. With lyrics such as “I’ve seen the trenches/I’m not going back” and “The deep is calling/Won’t let this evil live inside me”, Vitalo seemingly admits to be caught at a dark crossroads, but refusing to fall down a dark path. This harkens back to Darker Half, expanding on the conceptual framework built by some of the band’s earliest releases.
Introspection bears its teeth on the latter half of the EP, with tracks such as “Cold Blooded” and “Gutted” discussing personal suffering, the vulnerability veiled with hard-hitting riffs throughout. Bad To My World comes to a close with “Sanity”. Clocking in at just under two minutes, the fast-paced track solidifies the dissatisfied tone of the album, as well as the acceptance of this anger (“I used to pray for sanity/Now I’m at peace with the monster in me/I used to pray for my sanity/Fuck that…”).
Backtrack has shown on Bad To My World how vital taking a break to write a more powerful and cohesive record can be. The band exhibits growth from their previous releases both musically and lyrically, while remaining true to the sound listeners love. The EP is being released via Bridge Nine Records on November 17th, alongside a companion 7” flexi-disc and zine, which includes contributions from Sam Octigan of Iron Mind and graphic designer Matt Worthey. At just about 20 minutes, Bad To My World reinforces Backtrack as a front-runnner and leader in hardcore music today.
Hardcore | Bridge Nine Records