Comeback Kid's Heavy Steps: "Absolutely, gloriously infectious" melodic hardcore

Canadian punks Comeback Kid go back to basics with Heavy Steps smashing it out the park in the process. If it ain't broke...

Comeback Kid: Heavy Steps
(Image: © Nuclear Blast)

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Coming five years after the divisive and slightly more experimental Outsider album, Canadian punk legends Comeback Kid appear to have re-evaluated their sound and decided that, actually, writing big anthemic slabs of melodic hardcore is very much where their bread is buttered. Heavy Steps is definitely a far more recognisably Comeback Kid-sounding record than its predecessor. And whilst some artists going back to their core sound can be an admittance that they’ve run out of ideas, here it just feels like the band are playing very much to their strengths by giving us something familiar.

There aren’t many bands that are quite as adept at creating breakneck-paced bangers with crunching metallic punk riffs and the kind of choruses that demand to be roared at the sky by the listener from the very first play. When the title track kicks off it sets a bar that would be incredibly difficult for most bands to scale; it’s a beauty in all its two-stepping, circle-pitting, throat-shredding glory. But then you get Gojira’s Joe Duplantier lending his monstrous vocals and guitar tone on Crossed only three songs later and raising the bar again.

Admittedly, due to Comeback Kid being happy to (expertly) pin down one particular style, this probably won’t convert longtime fence-sitters, and, save for the odd flashy guitar solo or the kind of slick grooves heard on Dead On The Fence, this isn’t the most dynamically challenging record that 2022 will throw up. That hardly matters, though, because when the band lock down that mixture of blurring pace and skyscraper hooks, such as on a song like Standstill, they just feel absolutely, gloriously infectious. Heavy Steps is a record that disproves the notion that you can have too much of a good thing.

Heavy Steps is out  January 21 via Nuclear Blast

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Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.