Comeback Kid is — well — back with their seventh studio LP and long awaited follow up to 2017’s Outsider. Heavy Steps hits the ground running with a thrashtastic and singalong-worthy title track that baptizes 2022 with a blast of high-octane treadmill fuel.
Backed by the mosh pit hymn and premiere single, “No Easy Way Out,” the stage-divabilty of Heavy Steps is firmly declared in raspy punk vocals, ballistic percussion, and adrenalized guitar throwdowns. Screams of “Tell me what are you waiting for?” recall Ministry’s iconic In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up Live recording. A chonky aesthetic that resurfaces on the Orwellian bootstomper “Shadow of a Doubt.”
Fisherman’s friend “Face the Fire” engages in a fist-pumping shout fest, while the pedantic rant “True to Form” and regert-free “Standstill” embrace the grind, armed with an arsenal of pills and thrills. Afterall, what hardcore album would be complete without an obligatory “I tried” track? Alas, there is no shelter from the storm for these bi-coastal fallout boys who opted to meet each other halfway and return to their hometown of Winnipeg to record Heavy Steps.
The Manitoba-bound quintet sweeten the pot by inviting Gojira vocalist Joe Duplantier to join them on the hot-headed “Crossed,” a musical break-and-enter that works itself into a lather before tipping into the void. Other contributing dignitaries include Australian metal vocalist/drummer JJ Peters, best known for his work with metalcore bands I Killed the Prom Queen and Deez Nuts, who shines on the reeling-and-wheeling “Everything Relates” with its Cali crossfit feeling.
An explosive retort to anyone worried that Comeback Kid’s best days are behind them, the unrelenting momentum of Heavy Steps sends a clear message that the band is prepared to become a spectacle as they age in public. Reaping the rewards of superior musicianship, mastery of their craft and maturing into their style, these diehard punks will assuredly still be growing and developing their artistic ear until their senses fade to black.