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CAT # PCD014
CREDITS:
Artwork by:
Paul Heidenreich

PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 – Brothers In Battle Split CD [PCD014]

  • You Are Defined - Provoke
  • Respect - Provoke
  • Heartfelt Disgust - Provoke
  • What's Left Behind - Provoke
  • Warcry - Provoke
  • The Rate Goes 38/ Take No Sides - Tempo 38
  • Septic Proof - Tempo 38
  • From The Flames - Tempo 38
  • Bitter Truth - Tempo 38
  • Full Swing - Tempo 38

The concept was simple and in true ANZAC spirit. Bring together two hard working underrated punk hardcore bands, one from Australia and one from New Zealand, record a bunch of songs and release an awesome split CD with the backing of two independent punk record labels. Introducing PROVOKE from Brisbane Australia, and TEMPO 38 from Hawkes Bay New Zealand. Printed on recycled paper stock.

REVIEWS:
Sic Zine [USA]
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
What we have here is one band from Australia, Provoke (Brisbane, Queensland to be exact) while Tempo38 is from Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Provoke, who have been around since 2005, plays a style of hardcore that leans heavily upon the NYHC sound, look for the sounds of Madball and Skarhead. I guess you could say they sound a bit Terror'ish, but man even I'm getting tired of saying that name. Their brothers from another mother, Tempo38, have been around since 2000 and these guys fall a bit more towards the punk side of hardcore. Together, both bands combine for 10 songs, each shouldering 5 songs each. First I will start off with Provoke. As I just mentioned they play an Aussie take on NYHC complete with rough and gruff vocals. The length of their songs are right around where you want for this brand of hardcore (1:30-2:30). They do a good job of keeping the tempo fast and aggressive while managing to effectively to sneak some really well done mosh breaks in. Also the gang vocals that are provided by members of other Aussie hardcore acts (Walk Tall, Onslaught, etc.,) add to the atmosphere. If you like Terror, Madball, Skarhead and pretty much just groove oriented hardcore, you'll dig this. Tempo38 are as mentioned, much more punk oriented and even incorporate some melody here and there, though I wouldn't quite call it melodic hardcore because it's roots lay a lot more in straight forward punk. The vocalist has a pretty versatile delivery, at times he uses a spoken/talked delivery but for the most part he uses a strained shout. Their songs are longer than Provoke's, usually clocking out around 3:30. They do a pretty good job of building up their songs although now and again the songs tend to drag a bit. Provoke's recording sounds good, it has a nice full sound that maximizes the tones of each instrument. The guitar tone is mean, the bass tone has enough presence to make me happy, the drums sound good and the vocals, as well as the gang vocals all have superb placement. Tempo38's side isn't bad either. One of things that stood out to me about their recording was the wonderful tone on the drum kit, the tom toms sound killer. The guitar sounds good for this brand of punk. The bass tone is twangy and really sounds good in this mix. Considering the theme of the layout is built around the ANZAC (Australian And New Zealand Army Corps) ideology, mostly the "spirit" aspect, it was quite ingenious not only to have an Aussie and New Zealand band pair up, but to have the layout tie perfectly into said theme. The warplanes on the front cover, the wartime monument on the back of the tray all help bring out this concept to the unbeknownst listener. The orange/black matte stock finish looks good and the simple but effective layout of the booklet, displaying the lyrics vertically over three pages with proper spacing makes reading the lyrics not such a chore. Songs Worthy of Replay: Provoke-- Warcry Tempo38-- Septic Proof. Synopsis: Overall, both bands have something offer but I definitely prefer the NYHC influenced sounds of Provoke over their New Zealand brothers, Tempo38. If you would like to decide for yourself check out the band's at their MySpace's.
Rating: 3/5

Interpretation Zine [Russia]
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
The split of two hardcore bands Provoke and Tempo 38 is a joint release of Pee Records and Hit Your Head Music from New Zealand. Each band presents 5 songs. Australian bands Provoke was formed at the beginning of 2005 and they started to play NY hardcore in the vein of Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags and Sick of It All from the beginning of Provoke’s existence. But Provoke plays a little faster. Guys has everything what resides for NY hardcore – angry vocal, hard guitars and bass, sparse sing-alongs (unlike youth crew), lyrics about hardcore and people need to think about life, not about death. Tempo 38 from New Zealand started to play from 2000. Split with Provoke is the fourth record of the band; heretofore they had recorded 2 EPs (“Our World Today” in 2001 and “Break With Reality” in 2002) and 1 single “Con” in 2004. From the beginning of band’s existence guys start to play the mix of punk, hardcore and hard rock. This mixture became the original sound of Tempo 38. Truly, I couldn’t find any bands with familiar sound, though music of Tempo 38 is not so original. I expected that Tempo 38 plays melodic hardcore, but it is punk. It is not pre punk, but it is more punk than hardcore. Fast and screaming verses gives place to more slowly choruses. All songs are magnetic, instruments sound great. Awesome band.

Give Blood Zine #2
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
This release rules. 'Brothers in Battle' is a 10 track Aus/NZ split put together by Adelaide's Pee Records and New Zealand's Hit Your Head Music to showcase the music of Brisbane's Provoke and Hawkes Bay's Tempo 38. Provoke kick it off with 5 songs of heavy, NY style hardcore while Tempo 38 come up the rear with 5 songs of their gritty punk/hardcore. I've been a fan of Provoke for some time now, so I was really glad to finally get to hear their new material. They've made a few subtle changes to their sound but overall, it's still the same sound you'd expect from these guys. It's still distinctly NY based and they still remind me of Madball and Sick of it All but the production is meatier now, the songs are shorter and they've added a lot more groovy mosh sections to the songs. They've also studioed the songs up a bit by getting their friends Greg (from Against), Mackey (from Onslaught) and Lee (from Walk Tall) to add their own vocal stylings to a few of the tracks. Provoke aren't doing anything new with their style but they play it well and they play it with integrity so I have no problems at all, these guys rule. They're probably one of our countries most underrated hardcore bands so do yourself a favour and check them out. I didn't really know what to expect from Tempo 38, I'd never heard them before this release and their songs kind of caught me off guard a bit. Their first song starts with an intro/singalong part with a riff that sounds like the kind of moshy riff you'd expect from a melodic hardcore band. The rest of the song alternates between fast screamed verses and a slowed down punk type chorus. Then the second track is completely punk. So I was expecting a melodic hardcore band and then it turns out these guys sound more like a punk band. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, these songs are catchy, the riffs are good, the production suits this kind of music fine and it's nice to see they have a bit of variety going on. Any fans of punk meets melodic type hardcore should get into this. Good band. Go pick up this release. Support Pee Records, support Provoke and support people trying to bring Australian and New Zealand punk and hardcore together…

Death Before Dishonour #5
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
The latest offering from Brisbane's Provoke proves to be a solid release in every aspect, while successfully bringing New Zealand's talented Tempo 38 into the spotlight of the Australian hardcore scene with five solid tracks from each band. Provoke certainly don't disappoint by using their usual formula and sound in the latest songs. Each Provoke song is mostly fast, aggressive four chord fare or a chugging sing along. They are similar to bands such as Against or Terror, yet combine elements of bands like Death Before Dishonour and Folsom to blend catchy two step hooks with fast, heavy hardcore. 'Respect' stands out from the other songs on the album, and serves as a blatant hardcore anthem, directly referring to what hardcore means to the most devoted. What the lyrics of some Provoke songs lack in originality and perhaps detailed sincerity, make up for in bold claims with lines such as "...it's our life, our purpose, we'll be here 'till the very end". The lyrics of the rest of the album remain largely similar to previous releases by the band, covering themes such as betrayal and pride, yet the lyrics are decidedly less inspired than the band's EP. The term 'genre-bending' is thrown around a lot, yet it describes Tempo 38 perfectly. They mix a more typical fast hardcore sound with some melodic choruses; highlighting the band's obvious punk influences and even a few rhymes are dropped at the begging of their first track. Although they are a talented band, Tempo 38 may not appeal to fans of Provoke (and vice versa) due to the frequent punk-influenced sound and structure in some songs. Tempo 38 are still mixed bag with some songs reminiscent of Thought Riot or Strike Anywhere and some with more old school hardcore influence. Still, every one of their songs are as solid as Provoke's. The album is hard to recommend to anyone that is not a fan of both new and old school hardcore, and punk. Still, any open minded fans of either Provoke or Tempo 38 should not miss out on this unique combination of two great bands. Rating: 4 / 5
Review by: Matt Johnstone

PEE #39
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
Thanks to the mighty Pee Records and New Zealand’s Hit Your Head Music, we have a patriotic ANZAC split featuring Brisbane’s hardcore heavies Provoke and melodic hardcore Kiwis Tempo38. Titled ‘Brothers In Battle’ and with artwork containing warplanes in flight and a statue of a fallen soldier, the wartime ANZAC reference is quite obvious. With 10 tracks in total, Provoke kick things off delivering five in your face, straight up, no bullshit hardcore tunes; some of the best Aussie hardcore I have heard since fellow Brisbane outfit Against. Beginning with the assertive and intimidating ‘You Are Defined’ you are immediately drawn to the fact that this band are all about hardcore and not much else… the way it should be. Easily comparable to hardcore pioneers Sick Of It All, Madball and bands of today such as Terror, Provoke rip out awesome hardcore riffs complete with addictive rhythms and plenty of pace. Track 5 ‘Warcry’ is in its own right a hardcore classic… featuring guest vocals from Greg Against, it is an anthemic and blistering paced hardcore track, one of the best you’ll ever hear and a superb sign off before the first Tempo38 track begins. Where Provoke assert the straight up intimidating aspects of heavy in your face hardcore, Tempo38 shed a lighter style with more melody and punk, at times reminiscent of the great band Rise Against. Track 6 ‘The Rate Goes 38 / Take No Sides’ reveals the above description as does the highly contagious ‘Septic Proof’… strengthening the Rise Against comparison, both musically and vocally. The remaining three tracks are more of the same, and really what more could you ask for? The first 5 tracks on par with the greatest of hardcore bands and the latter not unlike one of today’s best hardcore punk outfits. A must for not only all patriotic hardcore punk fans but a lesson in hardcore ANZAC unity for all those international. Rating: 98
Review by: John MEANtime

The Dwarf
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
Australian hardcore band Provoke are angry. Really angry. And on this split release with New Zealand's Tempo38, they are going to yell about being angry in five very short songs. Tempo38 are pretty angry too, but they take a little more time with each song to let you know about it. Before I go any further with this review, I'll just come right out and say that when it comes to modern punk and hardcore music, it's a genre that I haven't given a lot of time to, partly because I've been busying myself being an indie rock wanker, and partly because I can only take so much testosterone fulled aggression before I get a little twitchy and need to lie down. But as far as this fairly untrained ear can tell, there is nothing overly special on this release. Having said that, there is nothing particularly offensive on this release either. Provoke are obviously really good at what they do, but what they are doing is very stock standard hardcore. Apparently fans of bands like Murphy's Law, Sick of it All and Madball should get into this. I'm trying really hard to get into their stuff but it's just not for me. If you like your hardcore served straight up over ice instead of mixed into a wussy cocktail then I dare say you'll appreciate this Brisbane band half of the Brothers in Battle split. Tempo38, on the other hand, are a little bit more accessible to my ears. It's a little slower and calmer in parts, the raps are pretty good, the songs are pretty damn catchy. The purist hardcore kids may not get into it, I don't know. Listening to songs like 'Take No Sides' and 'Bitter Truth', you can tell this is a band who would be awesome live, and that once you had been to an awesome live show, listening to the recorded material would be even better than it already is. If hardcore is your thing, then give this release a go, you'll probably get into it, because whilst it's not reinventing the genre or going to go down in history as the best hardcore release ever, it's pretty darn good. And with the never ending stream of splits that get released from punk/hardcore bands who are relatively unknown to the world but are the heroes of their hometown, it's good to listen to one that IS good and that can't really be faulted.

BLUNT Issue #58
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
Brisbane's Provoke and NZ warriors Tempo 38 go head to head here on what is a decent split with 5 tracks from each band. Provoke have recorded more of the same straight-up hardcore, and while it's a bit of a step up from their debut release, it can tend to drag at times. Having said that, it is what it is (ie. meat and potatoes hardcore with a NY influence). The lyrics are fairly generic, but overall it's a good effort. Tempo 38 produce refreshing melodic punk/hardcore - the vocals stand out from the word go as very dynamic and delivered with energy and passion. It's great to hear something so different from all the (w)hordes of photocopied wannabes. Tempo stand apart from the pack and they do it well. A split release well worth checking out.
Rating: 7 / 10 Review by: DB

Thrill House Zine #5
PROVOKE / TEMPO 38 - Brothers In Battle Split CD
This split includes 10 tracks from Brisbane's Provoke and New Zealand's Tempo 38. Provoke kick it off with five tough sounding hardcore tunes (the good kind, not the Hatebreed variety) with lyrics to match. This is real aggressive stuff with tracks like 'You Are Defined' typifying this. Probably the best straight up hardcore band Australia has to offer, great production. This will nor disappoint. After Provoke's onslaught, Tempo 38 kick off the second half with a more punk-rock sound. A short intro and it's straight ito 'Take No Sides' which is my favourite track from the whole CD and other great punk rock numbers like 'Septic Proof'. Parry's vocals are very similar to that of Rise Against's Tim Mc Illrath which I like a lot. I'd never heard of these guys but they are apparently big in NZ, good to see bands like this coming from there.
All up a great split. Can't wait for the launch tour.
Review by: Tom

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