(Take This to Heart)
Traditions might seem like an unusual name for a band adhering to the punk/hardcore genre, but its members have clearly thought out their choice. According to singer Randy Burlingame, the Westfield band intends to be “more than just a band. More than just simple three-chord love or hate songs that have been done a thousand times over.”
Pop in a copy of the band’s EP Cycles, and you will find distorted guitar playing pleasant harmonies, hard-hitting bass and drum rhythms, and vocals that veer between solidly delivered sung parts and more unhinged shouted passages. The vocals are often multi-part harmonies. Those elements are, it’s true, relatively predictable elements of the genre in its current form, but the band is savvy in its approach, acknowledging the uphill battle of wringing new sounds from old, well, traditions.
“Every story has been written already. We know this,” says Burlingame. “We’re just trying to be honest and give everyone our version of what we want to be passed down… what we want to stand the test of time.”
It’s a winning sentiment, and it points to the kind of earnest energy that pervades the EP. This is an easy set of songs to listen to, well played and well sung, with melodies that stick with you. It’s a good bet that Traditions’ live sets are equally winning. You can find out May 4, when Traditions plays with Lions Lions and others at Holyoke’s Waterfront Tavern.•