Monthly Archives: July 2018

Review: Bloody Mammals’ What Have You Done?

It’s been 5 years since London post hardcore outfit Bloody Mammals released any new music and despite starting to record a follow-up to 2013 mini album Eventually Your House Will Burn Down in 2014, the band moved apart and it never got finished. Now in 2018, Bloody Mammals have seen fit to polish up what they were working on and release it to the world, resulting in the debut album, What Have You Done?

What Have You Done? is a bittersweet release because the band are still scattered around the country and probably won’t get to tour it. It might even be the last music the band release, but if that’s the case then this is one hell of a swansong. The band’s angular guitar work is back in full force and every song on this album is absolutely crammed with riffs and a frantic personality that makes the whole record feel immediate and crucial.

There’s a real showcase of variety here as well. The dissonant, spiky, punk rock of Behind Glass is followed by the more groovy and metallic Toothless, and then we’re treated to Death on Credit which has more of a tuneful, alternative rock flavour to it. Thankfully Bloody Mammals manage to meld all these styles successfully into their own sound and the album never sounds like a random, scattershot collection of ideas chucked at a wall.

If there’s one negative you could level against What Have You Done? it’s that the mix is a bit flat. It’s the sort of mix you’d expect from an album 20 years older – demanding that you turn your hi-fi up a little more to compensate for older production methods. This isn’t the biggest complaint and some might actually enjoy the increased dynamic range and refusal to abide by modern loudness wars, but a little more prevalent low-end would have really set off some of the angrier numbers like The Cremation Fields.

In conclusion, Bloody Mammals’ What Have You Done? is a wonderful post hardcore record by a band that shone bright for a very short time and then seemingly just went away. Getting new music from the band in 2018 was a welcome surprise and considering a lot of this music dates back 4 years, it still sounds as vital as ever. Fingers crossed this isn’t the last we hear from Bloody Mammals but even if it is, what a hell of a record to go out on.

8/10

Bloody Mammals’ What Have You Done? is out now and available to download direct from the band.

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Review: Rash Decision’s Karoshi

It never fails to amuse me that one of the most intense hardcore punk bands in the country comes from the sunny seaside town of Falmouth in Cornwall, but that’s absolutely the case with Rash Decision. They are also becoming one of the most consistently enjoyable punk acts with every release and their latest long-player, Karoshi, is no exception (I’m not sure 20 minutes can really be regarded a long-player, but there are 14 songs here so maybe we’ll make an exception).

Now Rash Decision aren’t going to be winning any awards for originality with Karoshi. This is another short, sharp shock of a record with songs averaging about a minute and a half. The band play at breakneck speed and scream a lot, but their simplicity works in their favour. Once again the guitar work is an absolute highlight. Riffs are fast and furious and will earworm their way into your psyche without you even realising it. The music is equal parts catchy punk rock and thrash metal and it’s expertly executed and complimented by a lovely, clean mix that showcases how tight Rash Decision’s performance is.

But what really sticks with you is just how fun everything is. Despite razor-sharp performances from everyone, there’s a certain tongue-in-cheek nature to the song writing that will always put a smile on your face. If it isn’t the bands non-stop use of profanity or bouncy bass-lines, it’s their snotty vocal delivery and use of overly confrontational quotes and samples. It’s not exactly clever, but it is nice hearing a band with a sense of humour and it always comes across as amusing instead of offensive.

Karoshi isn’t doing anything the band haven’t already done before, but Rash Decision have absolutely nailed their sound down so well that a divergence in style at this point in their careers would feel unnatural and forced. Rash Decision are a hardcore punk band who like to play loud and fast and have a good time doing it and in this political climate, that’s an absolute Godsend. We need bands like Rash Decision because everyone needs a place to vent and have a bloody good time doing so. Thanks lads – I needed this.

8/10

Rash Decision’s Karoshi is out now and available to buy on limited edition vinyl direct from the band.


Review: Allfather’s And All Will Be Desolation

It’s the return of Kent sludgecore outfit, Allfather! Their return heralds their sophomore long-player, And All Will Be Desolation – an album about fighting back against injustice and oppression that leans heavier into sludge metal than ever before.

While Allfather’s beginnings are rooted in the hardcore scene, And All Will Be Desolation has a noticeably more metal sound to it that brings to mind luminaries like EyeHateGod. That isn’t to say that the hardcore influence on Allfather’s music has been completely lost, but it’s used to greater effect. There are shorter songs like Citadels which definitely go ‘full hardcore’ with great, Raging Speedhorn-like effect, but tracks like opener Black Triangle begin with a faster, thrashier riff and then break down into a sludge metal passage to equally satisfying effect. Regardless of genre-crossover, you can always bet on every song being chockful of groove. It’s the sort of music you’ll absolutely want to be moving to.

Speaking of a shift towards a more metal sound, Allfather show a lot of love for a good guitar solo. This is an album that always puts a guitar solo in the most opportune moments. Solos are never over-used, but when a song needs a little extra something to help it build to a crescendo, you can always bet there’s a damn fine solo waiting for you.

Complimenting all of the album’s disgusting riffs and grunty vocals is a suitably dirty production job by the ever-reliable Jason Frye at Century Audio. Frye’s work makes the music sound like a live performance and it captures the intensity of Allfather’s sound perfectly. A sharper, cleaner sound just wouldn’t have been as satisfying.

Allfather’s And All Will Be Desolation is an incredible follow-up to their 2016 effort, Bless the Earth With Fire. It’s a more confident album that stays interesting even when the running time of the songs looks a little daunting. 7 minute tracks? They go by in a flash and you’ll be banging your head the whole time.

9/10

Allfather’s And All Will Be Desolation releases on September 7th 2018 via Rotting Throne Records. Click here to pre-order the album on CD.