Boston has a long history of producing artists of various ilks who have expressed individuality, a DIY ethic, and a strong sense of purpose and conviction. This is perhaps best evidenced by the city’s underground punk and hardcore scenes and artists such as Mission of Burma, Slapshot, and The Freeze. With a lineup that includes members of older Boston hardcore acts Beware and Blood for Blood, The Enemy Within is well aware of its hometown’s legacy. On its new album, As Long As I Can Walk I’ll Step Out of Line, The Enemy Within seeks to not only carry on a tradition begun over 30 years ago, but also to add an entirely new page to the city’s storied musical history.
Much of the lyrical content on As Long As I Can Walk… reflects the hardcore ethos to get involved and become proactive rather than idly sit back as life passes you by. Many of the album’s tracks (“Spasms”, “All This Will End”) aim to reinforce a call to action against apathy and to instill a sense of individual spirit and responsibility. Unafraid to hit listeners with a dose of reality, “One More Time” features vocalist Joe Mageary slamming the shortsightedness and indifference of a demographic disillusioned by a broken system when he cries out “What happens after we’ve wasted our youth.” The final lyric of closer “Scared of Life” — “The only thing stopping you is in your head; face your demons or wind up dead, scared of life” – speaks with a wisdom perhaps gained through personal experience and sees the group challenging listeners to accept that sometimes your own worst enemy is you.
As Long As I Can Walk… sets aside any gimmicks, instead opting for a straight-ahead, high-intensity sound that directly challenges listeners to question rather than simply accept. With a sound heavily indebted to early ’90s hardcore and bearing its city’s stamp, The Enemy Within adds another link in Boston’s ever-growing musical chain.
Essential Tracks: “This House Must Fall”, “Stranglehold”