500 Word Review: West Berlin “104”

west berlin split

The latest release from West Berlin is their single “104”, which is featured on their recently released split with Bottomfed. This is the third release in their discography following their debut EP, “The Northern Misery” and single “Age”. Personally, I’m a huge fan of “The Northern Misery” and honestly believe this group has a bright future ahead of them in the melodic hardcore scene, and “104” is simply put a continuation of their excellence.

“104” greatly resembles the sound heard on “The Northern Misery”. Their signature guitar sound and chugging riffs accompanied by unique harsh vocals and occasional lead guitar melodies have helped distinguish West Berlin from the rest of the noise in the hardcore scene. Also, I personally am glad to see the Syracuse based punk band continue in the direct exemplified in “The Northern Misery” compared to what was heard on their previous single, “Age”, which in my opinion is fairly sub-par and does not showcase West Berlin’s fantastic songwriting that they’re known for. “104” starts off with a melodic, almost melancholy guitar intro that helps bring in the rest of the instruments and members to the track. My initial thought after hearing the first verse is that it is beautifully written, and could easily find its way onto the phenomenal “The Northern Misery” EP, however I believe that track could sound even better at a faster tempo. The song itself is extremely melodic, but at some points in the first verse I personally think the track is dragging and slightly sluggish. However, this is only a minor critique and does not take away from the superb first half of this song. The chorus, on the other hand, is absolutely addictive. It shows hints of influence from Counterparts, yet has enough signature sound to be easily recognized as West Berlin. Even the pinched harmonics before the second chorus help create a well-written melodic hardcore chorus that is extremely memorable. Finally, the two breakdown-esque bridges heard after each chorus are without a doubt superb. Resembling riffs heard on “Hell Is Black” from “The Northern Misery”, these two chugging riffs add a near beatdown element that I absolutely love about West Berlin’s music. These melodic, mosh-pit inducing, skull-crushing riffs are something that any hardcore fan will love and is something that West Berlin has mastered to say the least.

In conclusion, “104” is yet another fantastic song by the up and coming melodic hardcore band, West Berlin. If you live anywhere in the Northeastern part of the US you need to see these guys live at a show. If the Syracuse act can continue to release projects like “104” and “The Northern Misery” then I can’t imagine why this band won’t become a household name in the next few years. I give “104” an 8.5/10 and if you haven’t yet, go check out the single attached below! Of course, let us know what you think of the track and stay tuned for more reviews and content due out this week.

“104”:

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