A horrible hack

Crossed Keys


Year Released: 2019
Format: LP
Label: Hellminded
Reviewed by Samuel Rogers on Nov 11, 2019
Crossed keys are a Philadelphia five-piece. Since 2016, they’ve had a couple of demos and a self- released EP. This new EP (or mini-album?) is their first “proper” release. However, you can tell straight away that these guys aren’t newbies, but certified veterans of Pennsylvania punk. They’re calling themselves melodic hardcore, and they definitely sit on the softer, more melodic side. The rhythm section puts down roots in hardcore, as you might expect with members of Kid Dynamite and Kill the Man Who Questions.

Since I’m not a guitar nerd, I surprised myself by noticing how well the lead and rhythm guitar work together. The lead guitarist nails some really clean, catchy melodies, built up on a rich harmonic foundation. I sense this band have been practicing hard, and the results are great. The vocalist, Joshua Alvarez, has a fantastic voice for melodic punk. His singing is distinctive and tuneful, but rough around the edges when needed. The lyrics cover emotional ground: the trials and tribulations of daily life, the feeling of being trapped, the rare moments of unity, and the need to make a change when people let you down. Alvarez carries a tune, sometimes uplifting, sometimes melancholy. This is a strong melodic punk offering, and Crossed Keys is a name I’ll look out for.

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