LOST: Under Pressure – Come Clean

Under Pressure were a significant Winnipeg hardcore group, and this album was their master offering. By the time Come Clean was released, the group’s members had been making music for years together, and this album perfectly represents a height for them as a group. Hardcore is an extremely formulaic genre that can be easily replicated. People take cues from bands such as Poison Idea and Black Flag, as Under Pressure initially did, and replicate them in their own way. This makes way for a lot of very mediocre representations. Over time, the music that these players loved was internalized and practiced in perfection, usually causing other bands to pale in comparison. Their devotion to form eventually turned into mastery and this album represents that moment in time. Come Clean is not just a hollow repetition of forms from the past. Rather, it is those forms mastered through dedication over time and presented for others to take cue from. A step away from their earlier, faster and more youthful hardcore sound, Come Clean lies in a darker, more serious territory on its own. Taking more of a rock direction, the listener is grabbed and assaulted aurally from the first riff of the album. Lyrically, the harshness of existence is presented in a notable step above average, further separating this album from the masses of thoughtless clones. Come Clean will leave an impact on those who hear it for years to come. As time progressed and line-up changes occurred, the quality of the band never diminished—Under Pressure’s conclusion in 2009 denied the band the time needed to surpass Come Clean, leaving it as their masterpiece to which heads will nod to in the future. (2006, Primitive Air-Raid, www.primitiveairraid.com) Kevin Strang