Portugal has been a fertile ground for Straight Edge hardcore bands since the glory days of X-Acto, Pointing Finger and New Winds. But those days are not forgotten, today Lisbon’s Nova Vaga crew represents the new wave (as the name suggests) of hardcore punk bands and individuals that not only actively promote and support Straight Edge lifestyle but also make no compromise in their political and social stances.
Among all the Portuguese bands I’ve listened to in the recent years, Aim seems to be one of the most idealist and uncompromising. The band features two members of Together, who released a great LP “The Elephant” back in 2009. I could sit and talk all day about how much I loved that band when they were around, but let’s get straight to the Aim. In their debut EP called “Foundation” we could hear 4 songs of a melodic hardcore in its best tradition. I’d say that Nations On Fire and Mainstrike are definitely influences on Aim’s musical and lyrical approach, although they incorporate a more modern vibes to their sound that reminds me of bands like Have Heart, Verse and The Effort. The lyrics are much longer than what you’d expect from the usual hardcore band and it’s nice to hear a clear anticapitalist message in a modern sounding band. Although the Portuguese accent is pretty strong in this one and I’d assume that they would have sound much better if the lyrics were in Portuguese (with additional English translations in the booklet). I think that you shouldn’t write such long and complicated lyrics in English if you’re not a native speaker. On the other hand it would be great if they are touring your country and you could sing along in English to the refrain of “Foundation”: “Every single day is a good day to start your own personal revolution.”