The Captivating Power of Drain's 'Living Proof' for Heavy Music Enthusiasts

Review: The Captivating Power of Drain’s ‘Living Proof’ for Heavy Music Enthusiasts


Drain, the Santa Cruz hardcore band that burst onto the scene with their debut LP ‘California Cursed’ in 2020, has been steadily making their way to the forefront of modern heavy music. With their recent signing to Epitaph Records, the band has released their sophomore full-length album, Living Proof. This record solidifies Drain’s position as a must-listen for all heavy music lovers.

A Powerful Combination of Charisma and Energy

Living Proof immediately grabs the listener’s attention with its charisma, ferocious grooves, and intricate riffs that appeal to both metal and hardcore fans. Much of the album’s success can be attributed to the undeniable chemistry among the band members. Drain showcases a bond that usually takes years for heavy bands to develop, if they ever do. This transparent camaraderie is a defining aspect of Living Proof. The band exudes a tangible sense of joy while performing, and even amidst the album’s heaviest moments, Drain’s infectious charisma seamlessly blends with the intensity. This fusion is further enhanced by the overtly positive themes explored throughout the record.

“Find the strength and kill yourself. Reinvent the new you. Find the strength and kill all the parts that you don’t love.” At first glance, these lyrics by Drain vocalist Sammy Ciaramitaro may seem grotesque, but they carry a powerful message about self-reinvention and becoming the best version of oneself. When combined with the band’s climactic breakdowns, these lyrics deliver a sense of determination and purpose to the listener. This dynamic element adds to the album’s overall accessibility, making it an excellent entry point for newcomers to heavy music or those curious about the hardcore scene.

The Uplifting Power of Drain’s Music

Many bands attempt to create uplifting hardcore and metal music, but few possess the tenacity and authenticity of Drain. The band’s messaging on Living Proof is incredibly compelling, thanks to their overtly positive vibe, chemistry, and even their comical artwork and branding. It’s easy to rally behind Drain and their music, especially when they radiate such a positive aura in their performances.

Stellar Performances and Production

Drain’s instrumentalists leave no room for disappointment when it comes to performance and production. Each crushing guitar riff cuts through the mix with utmost clarity, even as drummer Tim Flegal delivers intricate and satisfying fills that define modern hardcore. However, it’s Cody Chavez, the riff machine, who truly shines on Living Proof. He never settles for repetitive riffing, always propelling the listener forward to the next sonic onslaught. While hints of Pantera and Slayer worship can be heard, it’s this versatility that makes Drain and their music appealing to a wide spectrum of heavy music enthusiasts.

A Compact Yet Impactful Experience

With a runtime of only 25 minutes, Living Proof is a concise and powerful album that demands attention. Regardless of your background in heavy music, there are countless aspects to love about this record. Drain embodies all the qualities one would seek in a modern heavy band.

Essential Tracks: “Run Your Luck,” “FTS (KYS),” “Intermission,” “Weight of the World” (listen to the entire album for the full experience)