Horrors That You’ve Seen chose to title their EP ‘Smokin, Skatin, Satan’ and made the cover a pizza cut into a pentagram. I like these dudes already. As for the music side of things, the band make a crusty, doomy form of hardcore punk that sounds absolutely brilliant on paper but ends up being a bit of a mixed bag in its actual execution.
Take the first track ‘Rot & Decay’ for example; at five and a half minutes this is pretty long for a hardcore track and it also feels too long for the amount of ideas it’s trying to showcase. The song begins as an aggressive and boisterous piece of hardcore with all the standards. Screamed vocals, intense riffing and fast-paced drumming are the order for the day. Around about the two and a half minute mark the song shifts into doom territory which makes for some great contrast but the band’s biggest problem is that the guitar work isn’t particularly memorable. Any band with screamed vocals needs to rely on their guitarist to bolster their sound with memorable riffs to give the listener something to wrap their ears around but there in lies Horrors That You’ve Seen’s biggest problem.
The band are actually more memorable when they get their doomy groove on. Hellraiser opens with a brilliant desert rock riff that Kyuss would be proud of and it marks a real highlight on ‘Smokin, Skatin, Satan’. A similarly great riff shows up on ‘Nuclear Bong’ and it’s clear the band have some affection towards Bongzilla and Dopefight (if that wasn’t already obvious from the title).
When the band decide they want to have a go at hardcore they lose a lot of the melody that helps support their more doom-laden sections. This is the main problem with the EP; the band have loads of great ideas but they generally don’t work well together. If the band put more focus into finding a series of melodies that will stick in the listener’s head they’d be onto a winner. Unfortunately the band get a little bit preoccupied with throwing in more hardcore and making their songs overly complicated. Horrors That You’ve Seen are a band with potential but they really need to work on streamlining their ideas for future releases.
Horrors That You’ve Seen’s Smokin, Skatin, Satan is out now and available to buy on limited edition cassette directly from the band.