by James Baines
Since 2021 when hopscotchbattlescars released their first widely available single, “god hates straight pride flags,” fans have been waiting and begging for a full-length album from the band.
Hopscotchbattlescars, a metalcore collective consisting of members Simone, Wyatt, Jude, and Erik, have been a big name in the local hardcore/metalcore scene for a number of years now and have been pushing the limits of extreme music since day one. After many basement shows and sold-out gigs, singles, EPs, and even a Canadian tour, the band has finally released their first full-length effort titled sick of you.
The album is heavy from start to finish, with a great lineup of new tunes and crowd favourites such as “wacky intro song” and “nothing to do, no one to love.”
Every song has a hard and cutting sound with the highest recording quality the band has seen yet. Each song hits you with a wall of distortion and heavy tones. Hopscotchbattlescars has always been known for their clear values against many issues such as capitalism, homophobia, transphobia, and more, and this album is no exception, with many of the songs pushing these values. These issues are best felt in tunes like “capitalism: the world’s largest non-consensual fin-dom” or “dropping dead to own the libs.”
If that isn’t enough, every song has killer riffs, and songs like “begin anew” bring back many of the mathcore writings that older fans have been missing recently. The album does fall short in some areas as the re-recordings of “all the things you wish you had” and “nothing to do, no one to love” are missing some of the original feel and grit, worrying some fans of an even further stray away from the refreshing mathcore that the group was known for on older releases. This album is in no way bad. It is a great listen and a great first full-length album any band could dream of, but nothing can be perfect. Luckily the album doesn’t fall short on many things, but for long-time fans, it can seem underwhelming. This is an album that takes multiple listens as every layer uncovers more of the technical writing the band is known for.
Long-time fans or newcomers to the scene: I do urge you to listen to this release; it is hard, wild, and wacky and encapsulates an amazing renaissance in Winnipeg’s extreme music scene.