Artist: Adult Crush
Release: CD / Digital
Sofia hardcore band Adult Crush released their first single, No Love, digitally in 2021. The band formed just before the pandemic hit Europe, but the idea for Adult Crush had been around for at least five years before that. This Bulgarian band also includes members from a host of other groups, including Last Hope, Face Up!, Vendetta, Breakaway, BFDM, and Rejection, among others. Last Hope, for example, have been around since 1995 and are probably the most prolific hardcore band around with an astonishing number of releases and tours in their extensive career. Ironically, the pandemic was just the right time for these veterans of the local hardcore scene to finally get together and bring this side project to fruition.
Released in May 2023, Adult Crush’s debut album, Disconnect, consists of twelve tracks that differ in both sound and lyrical message from any of the members’ other bands or projects. The first thing that strikes me when listening to the album is Alex’s vocals, which sound fresh and much more varied than his more typical hardcore approach in Last Hope. It’s really great to see him taking new directions in his singing style and putting all the effort into refining it. The other thing that makes Adult Crush an interesting band is that they have three guitarists, which you don’t see that often in the hardcore punk scene. The triple guitar attack really adds a lot more dynamics and momentum, as you can hear all these jangly melodic leads, blazing solos, instrumental fills, and chugging riffs in hardcore songs that rarely go past the three minute mark (except for the title track “Disconnect” and “The More I Know”). The NYHC sound has been the bread and butter of most of these guys’ bands and a major influence on the whole Sofia Hardcore scene over the years, so there’s a definite early Cro-Mags, Killing Time, and Leeway vibe to these songs. In this way, Adult Crush manage to create a great versatility in their sound, while keeping a fast and upbeat tempo without losing the punch. I’m not sure if they add anything new to the canon, but they do sound like a fully formed group from day one. Furthermore, being a six-piece with three guitars, bass, drums and a vocalist who has been singing in hardcore bands for almost 30 years, they can really push the envelope in any direction they want. A finely tuned ensemble of seasoned musicians who know exactly what to do.
It’s all in the band name really, Adult Crush have created a mature longplayer that will appeal to adult listeners who are looking for something groovier, a bit more upbeat and more reliant on musicianship rather than the usual bands who spit out all their anger and rage while banging on their instruments as fast as they can. The old dogs of the Bulgarian hardcore scene show that there is still a new life and a spirit of experimentation in their creative imaginations, without straying too far from the hardcore sound we’ve come to know and love.