On their fourth and latest album, Buffalo hardcore survivors Snapcase forgo the genre’s usual metallic extremes in favor of slow, heavy grooves and restrained melodic experimentation. Apart from frontman Daryl Taberski’s distinctive wheeze, the disc is about as radio-friendly as hardcore gets — it’s no wonder the band have been hearing "sellout" cries, especially now that they’ve toured with both Papa Roach and Deftones. But even hardcore bands have to grow up someday, and Snapcase write prog-punk manifestos any rock lifer would be proud of.
End Transmission is the most cohesive entry yet in the current hardcore-concept-album sweepstakes: the lyrics tell a sci-fi fantasy of working-class revolt against corporate oppression. "Coagulate" is the story’s mosh-happy call to arms; "Ten A.M." is a brooding anarcho-punk answer to U2’s "Bullet the Blue Sky." Taberski quotes Modest Mouse on the borderline power ballad "New Kata," and hot producer Brian McTernan helps the band focus their dissonant fusion of Radiohead and Refused. At the end of the story, the rebels show a hint of remorse as they celebrate their escape from the planet. And the band fade out to the sound of a heartbeat, their rage temporarily having subsided.
(Snapcase perform this Saturday, October 26, at Axis. Call 617-423-NEXT.)