Game’s previous LP, No One Wins, came out on Beach Impediment Records in 2019, and while I liked that record, after I saw Game live, it was clear they had an even better record in them. Legerdemain gets a lot closer to capturing Game’s live power. I was going to write that Game had changed up their sound since No One Wins, but I went back to that record and the elements are there, but they’re communicated so much more clearly on Legerdemain. No One Wins’ bulldozer sound created a wall of brute force, but Legerdemain’s subtler mix highlights the riffing, which is very metal in style, but also fluid and melodic, with memorable lines and melodies that remind me of Tank’s Filth Hounds of Hades. The riffing anchors the songs, but the other instruments have more room to breathe too, with the drums showing off a propulsive yet heavy, Cro-Mags-esque gallop. The vocals might be a sticking point for some as they have a cartoonish quality, but I like them. Most hardcore vocals are one-dimensional and either fade into the background or, at best, provide a rhythmic counterpoint, but Ola’s vocal lines are memorable, and I was singing along with bits like “revelations of DOOOOOM” by the second listen. With six songs in less than 15 minutes, Legerdemain is all excitement, without a moment that drags or overstays its welcome. The physical packaging is also stunning. The jacket is not only beautifully designed, it’s printed with an old school letterpress, which has a totally different (and far superior) feel to the digital offset printing you see most often these days. There’s also a large, poster-sized lyric insert that follows the package’s red, black, and white design scheme. Exciting, fresh-sounding hardcore punk wrapped in flawless packaging makes Legerdemain a no-brainer. Pick up the US-exclusive white vinyl from us while you can.