Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Dr J is no one else than Jacob Bredahl also known as the voice in Hatesphere from Denmark. Barcode released their debut in 97 and this current CD is number 5, SHOWDOWN makes album number 3 on their current label as well. Barcode says that they think that NB are a brilliant platform for the guys to bring out their music compared to their previous labels.
Dr J is also the producer of this album and the studio they’ve used is Jailhouse Studio. SHOWDOWN was mixed and mastered by the very famous Tue Madsen in his own studio Antfarm also located in Denmark. Productionwise I can’t find anything to complain about, Dr J and Tue know exactly what they do. They have created a sound that’s hard, mean, aggressive, brutal and fast.
The music style is angry hardcore and nothing else and it reminds this writer a bit of NYHC from the early 90’s and you can absolutely put Barcode in the same category as bands like Blood for Blood, Agnostic Front, Madball and Sick Of It All. Even if hardcore music had its peak at the beginning of the 90’s it sure feels like we really needs this kind of mean music today and Butch on lead vocals has a perfect voice to sing hardcore. Add his voice to the razor-sharp guitar play from Dr J and Panter with the heavy and brutal play from Snick and Rookie in the rhythm section then we have a real hard and excellent hardcore act in Barcode.
Barcode runs through a total amount of 16 songs on SHOWDOWN which is far too many songs in my opinion. Amongst the 16 tracks we find a brilliant cover of Accept’s old song “I’m a Rebel” which Barcode has managed to make sound like a punk song by themselves. One problem that often occurs when a band puts so many songs on an album is that they have a tendency of blending together and so is the case here. Sure, the material is of a high quality but that doesn’t save the songs from being a bit anonymous the further into the album you stray. The whole album clocks in at 35 minutes and that alone feels like I have an EP in my hand, especially when the CD’s costs so much today I think it’s a bit cheap of the band to only record 35 minutes of music.
I’m really impressed by these Danes and I really think all of you hardcore fans out there should take a closer look at SHOWDOWN. In some ways they sound maybe a bit too American but on the other hand do they administer the American hardcore heritage in a very brutal and brilliant way. These tattooed Danes show how real NYHC should be play, and as a fan of hardcore I think that this is brutality in its purest shape.
Killer tracks “For What it’s Worth”, “No Lust for Life”, “Bad standing”, “Rise to Dignity” and “I’m a Rebel”.