Some bands manage to find that sweet spot where they can emulate their heroes while still introducing some sort of new energy into the music. Unfortunately, it does not seem that Shadow of Doubt is one of those bands, nor is there debut, No Mercy, much more beyond your standard NYHC-in-2017-emulator fare. Truly the gang’s all here on this one, be it from the overly forced gang vocals to the mid-tempo “grooves” to those ever so (lovably) cheesy mosh calls. And, fortunately for those digging into this EP, one does not need to look any further than track two, “No Mercy.”
Going to a hardcore show nowadays is an interesting, if not slightly disturbing, thing. Upon walking in, almost immediately, you are greeted by the sight of legions of hardcore kids; close shaved hair cuts, Nike Air Maxes (or similar shoes), camo shorts, and a shirt from one of the same three 80’s/90’s hardcore bands (Trapped Under Ice, Madball, or Youth of Today). And, more importantly than how they look – standing there in their get ups, arms folded across their chest or firmly bringing a cigarette to their lips – is the attitude they exert; one of hostility and, somewhat oddly given hardcore’s basic principles, of conformity. These people are unflinching, devoted to whatever character they are playing and seemingly unable to take a joke at the expense of hardcore or deviate much from their standard genre listening beyond hardcore.
Ah powerviolence, what a subgenre. Perhaps one of the most commonly misused subgenre labels, it is a style of hardcore punk that is truly unique in all aspects. Stylistically, it is easy to confuse with grindcore, another speed obsessed, slightly humorous, blast beat filled subgenre that arose around the same time as it. But what truly separates powerviolence from its grindcore peers is that, unlike grindcore, it is distinctly, undoubtedly 100% hardcore punk music, no metal involved (many people would argue this).