Corre Diablo is a local San Diego trio that leaves no mystery as to what they are about stylistically. With influences on their social media sites listed as Jawbreaker, Hot Water Music, and Alkaline Trio, their latest release titled Claws is, for the most part, exactly what you would expect. I use the expression “for the most part” because, of the aforementioned influences, one is not as evident in the band’s sound.
To be specific, Corre Diablo are far more Jawbreaker/HWM than they are Alkaline Trio. Drilling down even further, clean and pitch friendly vocals like those of Matt Skiba and Dan Adriano will not be found on Claws. Rather, the EP is loaded top to bottom with harsh, off-pitch vocals more in-line with a young Blake Schwarzenbach. Given their degree of gruffness, Corre Diablo compares, perhaps more accurately, to the stylings of early Small Brown Bike. This applies not only to the vocals, but also the instrumentation, as the guitars favor discordant intervals, and the drums slug away with a very familiar mid-tempo power punk groove.
Claws features 8 tracks that all adhere closely to this formula. While the vocals often grate with dreadful pitch and forced inflections, there is at least a sense of lyrical sincerity. The production is a bit rough, which is the case more often than not on a DIY debut. Likewise, there are a number of tempo slurs and sketchy transitions on the performance end, but the band does a fair job with the song arrangements. Corre Diablo have a good sense of flow and insert enough accents and dynamics into their music that lead me to believe they will progress nicely provided they keep at it.
Stand out tracks include Mother Tongue, Like going Home, and my personal favorite Fears Reborn. On this song, the band incorporates a lot of changes and the Samiam-esque feel at 0:55 definitely pulled me in. …that and I’m always a sucker for a halftime chorus with a good lead in:
…All my clothes are faded and torn.
All my will is gone, and my fear reborn.
Never walk out my front door.
Every step feels like a trap.
Nothing shocks me anymore.
I just want my simple life back…
2.75 out of 5 SDP Skulls
Reviewed by Todd Dulawan