Direct Hit’s full length debut, Domesplitter, kicks off with a jolt, “Fuck You. Get Pumped.” before exploding into aggressive chords overlaid with a solid screaming and lyrics. In each track there is a relationship between screaming, singing, and powerful music that keeps the energy high from the beginning of the album all the way through.
Each of the songs on Domesplitter have been previously released on EPs, the EPs were sold as a box set (along with some live and unreleased material) and contained a card asking fans to vote on their favorites, they tallied the votes, and recorded the songs selected.
This approach to recording came from singer Nick Wood’s interest in comic books. Woods has noted he enjoyed the formula of comic books come out every month before they are compiled into a trade paperback every year or so. He applied that model to music, by recording a few songs at a time, releasing EPs, and listening to audience feedback before recording their full length.
This method has paid off for the band; Domesplitter finds it niche in the amazing grey area between punk and hardcore. They use hardcore vocals, punk chords, and melodic choruses. Woods’ voice always has a gruff hardcore edge to it, which directs the music, and the listener.
The first track, Snickers or Reeses (Pick Up the Pieces), is a pure ball of energy with great play between hardcore vocals and a layered vocal refrain that instantly incite you to move. Kingdom Come is the slowest track of the album, yet it is full and keeps the intensity going. The following tracks establish a unique sound for Direct Hit, punk rock that isn’t afraid to have a bit of fun, yet, will never loose its edge.
There is a definite emphasis on the sound of the lyrics, each track is heavy on rhymes that will get caught in your head on the first listen and urge you to sing along immediately. There were days that I found myself humming these songs that I didn’t know the words to.
The last two songs on Domesplitter are the standout tracks, In Orbit and They Came For Me. Both of these songs conjure the feeling of being at a show in the pit, sharing an experience with the people around you. (Just a note, I am always a sucker for singing in unison, it gets inside of me and makes me feel more connected to the song that I am listening to.) In Orbit, focuses more on the melody of the song and allowing the singing in unison to add to the construction. While, in They Came For Me the whole track is singing in unison, screams, and clapping make this song feel natural. It feels like a bunch of friends in the recording studio that are enjoying each other and music. The track only escalates as it progresses, especially at the breakdown. The breakdown intensifies the vibe of the song and takes it past the recording, into the atmosphere.
The heightened intensity and community vibe is a killer ending to both the sound and the feeling of this album.
Domesplitter is out on Kind of Like Records. Pick it up.