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A few weeks ago, I talked about Hesitation Wounds in the context of non-metal bands that metal fans might like with a bit of a preview of their debut album, Awake For Everything. That album is out now on 6131 Records and you can listen to it in full below. I've now had the chance to listen to it and here's why I think it's great:

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The last album we heard from Jeremy Bolm was the third LP from his devastating post-hardcore band Touche Amore, Is Survived By, an album that grappled with mortality and the uncertainty of the legacy you'll one day leave behind. This year he's tackling something much different on the debut album from his band Hesitation Wounds, the most overtly political work he's put out yet. Hesitation Wounds are something of a supergroup -- with The Hope Conspiracy guitarist Neeraj Kane, former Trap Them bassist Stephen “Scuba” LaCour, and former Against Me!/current Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg (Max's son) -- and they're a much more metallic band than Touche Amore. TA's last album was often as beautiful-sounding as hardcore gets, but Awake For Everything is sludgy, dark and desolate. Both bands get fast, but TA drummer Elliot Babin doesn't rock that double kick pedal in the thunderous way Jay Weinberg does, and Jeremy sounds more pissed off here than he's sounded since "WeHateFredPhelps.com."

The first moment it becomes abundantly clear that you're listening to an angry, political work is on the third track, "Hands Up." It's the same name as a 2014 Vince Staples song, and they're both songs that rail against police brutality. "Another dead body / And we throw our hands up / I'm ashamed of my skin / Enough is enough," Jeremy snarls over a pummeling, bass-heavy backbone. On "Guthrie," Jeremy takes lines from Woody's "This Land Is Your Land" and kicks it up about a thousand notches. That song is already often misinterpreted as a pro-America song, but no one will make that mistake with "Guthrie": "This is the land of opportunity, this is the land of the free, this is the land made for you and me… it’s all bullshit.”

His messages are clear and in-your-face without being too preachy, and the band's volume-up-to-eleven backdrop is the perfect setting for these lyrics. "All We Know" opens with something closer to Deafheaven than Touche Amore before evolving into mile-a-minute d-beat. "Ends (Pt. 1)" works around a dissonant metalcore riff that wouldn't feel out of place on a Snapcase or Converge album. Opening track "Operatic" is about as classic-sounding metallic hardcore as you're likely to get on any record this year. Hesitation Wounds make room for one calmer moment, "Away," which mostly favors brooding speak-sung vocals and sounds like a sludge metal re-imagination of early goth and deathrock. Otherwise, this is heavy, impassioned music that never wavers from full-on attack mode.

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(This review originally appeared in Five Notable Releases of the Week on BrooklynVegan)