’80s melodic hardcore vets Freewill prep first new album in 30+ years (stream “Past Tense”)
Freewill were a short-lived Orange County band who formed in 1987 and took influence from melodic hardcore bands like Dag Nasty, Embrace, Descendents, and 7Seconds. They recorded an album in 1988, but their label dissolved before it could come out, and then the band changed their name to Stonetelling and parted ways with bassist Mike Hartsfield, who went on to form the band Outspoken and launch the record label New Age Records. They reunited in 2016 to perform at the big tribute show to Sense Field's Jon Bunch, whose band Reason To Believe was on the bill at Freewill's first-ever show (alongside Agnostic Front and The Offspring), and that same year they finally gave their shelved debut album Sun Return a long-awaited release on New Age Records. Their 1988 demo was also released as a self-titled 7" that year on Mankind Records.
2020 finally brought new music from Freewill in the form of the Pedestrians EP and a split with Italy's Zero Eight One, and now they're set to release a new full-length album, All This Time -- produced by Paul Miner (Thrice, H2O, etc) -- on September 3 via Unity WorldWide Records (pre-order from New Age, RevHQ, or Coretex). It features all five songs from Pedestrians and the Zero Eight One split and six other new songs, including "Past Tense," which premieres in this post.
"'Past Tense' is a song I wrote that deals with saying or doing things in the past, that one may not be proud of," vocalist/guitarist Paul Cranston tells us. "We all make mistakes, but some of those mistakes stick with you and tend to shape who you are. 'Past Tense' is a cautionary tale of sorts and serves as a vehicle to 'the exorcise the Demons.'" Musically, it pulls from those same '80s melodic hardcore influences that Freewill pulled from during their initial run, and they do a ton of justice to that sound and know how to make it feel fresh in 2021. Listen below.
Watch the video for previous single "Letting Go" and stream "The Story" too:
1. Letting Go
2. Stay Here
4. Past Tense
5. The Show
6. Race To The Bottom
7. All This Time
8. You Know Me
10. The Story
11. A Bridge To Nowhere