Sound — 6
Comeback Kid comes back in style with the introductory Do Yourself a Favour. For hardcore punk, it doesn't clock the fastest time on the grid, but acts more like a monster truck, sweeping clear everything that lies in its way. By the time the gang vocals have finished their work, Crooked Floors kicks in with real hardcore style and, most notably, speed. A melodic track, it is one of the albums exemplary tracks, embracing sing along choruses and melody only beaten by the next song: G.M. Vincent and I. It is not often that a hardcore punk band begins an album with such swagger. It's a daring that Comeback Kid should be wary of, some of the songs even bordering on pop punk, a sound that might further displease and even alienate the band's listeners. Because of All the Things You Say continues in the vein of the first three tracks, the screaming less intense, but the band as tight as ever, relying on rapid palm muting, and eerie guitar leads. The song ends on a low key guitar melody, perhaps the first sign of the band taking a breather. Indeed, the band slows down to experiment with tempo shifts on songs such as Magnet Pull, signalling to either the maturing or the decline of this band. This is fairly standard hardcore punk, making it difficult to review. It's loud, and perhaps suffers from the common production technique' of making everything too loud to truly appreciate the volume button or knob on whatever appliance used to play the album.
Lyrics — 6
Much has been made of Andrew Neufeld's appointment as lead vocalist of Comeback Kid in the wake of Scott Wade's departure back in 2006. This is Neufeld's second album with the microphone in his hands after 2007's Broadcasting, and he seems to have really risen to the challenge of succeeding a much respected hardcore vocalist. In the end, it comes down to whether one can get past the change of vocalist, with many fans arguing that Comeback Kid is no longer the same band as during the Scott Wade time period.
Overall Impression — 6
It's difficult to warm to modern hardcore when bands like Governent Issue, Sick of it All, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Minor Threat and The Germs loom over modern efforts. It's not so much that Comeback Kid is bad at what they do, but surely there is only so much more imitation that can be sustained by the hardcore scene before a special band emerges from the seas of platitude to really take hardcore by storm. Some critics might be inclined to over-estimate the value of the experimentation on Symptoms and Cures, but it has less to do with experimentation within the hardcore genre than it does with Comeback Kid's own limited sound. The transition from hardcore punk to melodic pop punk has been done before now, and Comeback Kid would be wise not opt for that direction in the long run.