Tides Denied – Within Our Reach

If you like youth crew, you will like it. You might even love it.

tides-denied-within-our-reach

Artist: Tides Denied

Title: Within Our Reach

Release: EP / Digital

Year: 2021

Label: Collective Memory

Within Our Reach is the latest offering from German hardcore act, Tides Denied. Released in August of 2021, the six song follow up to their 2018 release The Steps You Take has half as many songs, but follows the theme of keeping each song’s length all around the two minute mark. The record was mixed and mastered by Brian McTernan (Be Well, Battery) at his Salad Days Studio. 

Opening with a brief two-step-intro that will remind listeners of when Mindset dominated the modern hardcore scene, the first track “When Worlds Collide” sets the tone for this record as straight ahead and urgent. Right away, you know what you’re getting. There are no surprises here. The approach in track two, “Monochrome”, differs slightly slightly offering a “call and response” dual vocal approach. “Monochrome” is definitely a track fans of the band can picture themselves singing backups to when the mic gets put into the crowd and is the only song on the entire record that has repeating lyrics. The record continues to push the tempo on the third song, “A Thousand Places”, that poetically describes the feeling of restlessness at the pace of the world in a way many can relate to, which is a contrast.

The second half of the record continues to stay consistent with the first half with its unforgiving tempos, but the lyrical themes transition to a less anthemic and more personal place. It is difficult to infer who or what the subject matter of these songs are about, which for some may allow them to apply their own context and form attachment to them in that way, but for others like myself, I am left curious. Track five, “Foreign Land” has possibly the most exciting and catchy part of the record, where the bass and closed-hi hat drums take the lead in a fervent bounce, before unleashing a powerful, but brief two-step section, bordering on the sounds of mid-’80s hardcore punk. The record ends on the solid, mostly mid tempo song “Overshoot”, displaying the emotional focal point of the record. 

I enjoyed Within Our Reach when it first came out; however the thing that kept me from coming back to it is its lack of variation. It wasn’t sticking with me. If you like youth crew, you will like it. You might even love it. What I appreciated about The Steps You Take was its subtleties and complexities. It felt like Tides Denied were breathing new life into the genre and they have certainly proved that they can write a catchy tune. What was missing for me with Within Our Reach was more melody and what I was feeling was that certain parts or even the entire song was over before I fully got to appreciate what was happening. I also understand the power of knowing keeping it short and sweet, which is what this record is very successful at doing. I hope to hear more from them in the future.

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