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"Bloodstains" vinyl out of 200

Philadelphia stalwarts Fixation are far from newcomers, but on The Secrets We Keep—recorded, mixed, and mastered by the band’s own Wyatt Oberholzer and releasing via WAR Records—there are few traces of the band’s five year history left intact. Opting to demolish the past, pave over the rubble, and start fresh, Fixation makes good on the promises of their 2020 promo. With an impressive roster that features members of Chemical Fix, Wild Red, and Drowse, the band has perfected their own brand of deft, blistering hardcore that’s difficult to ignore.

Whether they’re channeling the stripped back stomp of Right Brigade, the tasteful melodicism of American Nightmare, or the self-reflective rage of Blacklisted, Fixation tidily corrals their influences into a refined, no-filler take on modern hardcore that only accomplished students of the genre could deliver. The Secrets We Keep is the final step in a long ascent, trimming the fat and leaving everything but the essentials behind.

In a genre built on four decades of rigid tradition, “reinvention” can sound like a dirty word, but Fixation has managed the task with remarkable finesse. This isn’t a band abandoning their roots for greener pastures; This is a band becoming what they were meant to be from the start.

1. Lachrymose
2. Toledo
3. The Art Of Playing Dead
4. F.M.E.G.
5. Motion Sickness
6. Purgatory
7. Violence
8. Dissociative Identity Disorder
9. Scituate
10. Black Clouds
11. I Tried To Pull Down The Sky