I think people are going to be very quick to establish Terrible Love as a “super-group” as the band is made up of members of Goodtime Boys, Bastions, Funeral for a Friend, Crocus and Grappler. That’s some incredible pedigree and basically a who’s-who of some of our favourite bands, but sadly they’ve all split up or gone on hiatus making Terrible Love a very natural progression that echoes the way a lot of bands start life. No established band is ever anyone’s first band and the experience that each member brings to the table makes Terrible Love’s debut EP Change Nothing an incredibly accomplished first drop.
What’s immediately noticeable is that Terrible Love actually sound like a band made up of its component parts. It’s strange but expectations that come from such well known and recognisable bands immediately put ideas as to what they should sound like in your head, but most projects of this calibre don’t realise themselves in the way you expect. Terrible Love are the exception to the rule. This is heart-on-sleeve, emotive yet aggressive post hardcore that is equal parts memorable, interesting, biting and beautifully constructed.
The title track perfectly encapsulates what the band are about and it’s difficult to not want to instantly bang your head to the wonderfully bouncy, twangy guitar riffs. The vocal delivery is an intriguing spoken word approach that’s yelled in a similar fashion to Goodtime Boys themselves. It’s by no means free-form and definitely matches the beats of the songs but it makes Terrible Love sound vitriolic and heartfelt which is perfect for this type of post hardcore.
Change Nothing is a strikingly well-structured EP that ebbs and flows between fast-paced, punk-rock bangers like Mt. Misery and more delicate, glittery numbers like They Need You. It moves in such a natural and satisfying way that it’s incredibly difficult to find fault with the song-writing, and when it all comes together on songs like Stone in Me then it’s absolutely electrifying.
Terrible Love’s Change Nothing is an incredible debut from a band that comes with a lot of expectation and they absolutely deliver. This is a remarkably accomplished start to a band’s career that I hope lasts for a very long time.
Terrible Love’s Change Nothing is out now and available on 12″ vinyl through Big Scary Monsters.
Post hardcore mob Terrible Love have seen fit to drop another music video from their Change Nothing EP and this time around we’re treated to a stylish tour video of Mt. Misery from the band’s time on the road with Rolo Tomassi. The band features members of Bastions, Funeral for a Friend and Goodtime Boys and if that doesn’t excite you then you should start this video right now:
Mt. Misery comes off Terrible Love’s Change Nothing EP which is available on vinyl from Big Scary Monsters. Tune in on Friday at 12pm BST for more substantial Terrible Love coverage on UK Scumscene.
Plymouth-based hardcore act Boxkite harken back to the short-lived #UKSwell scene that encompassed bands like Bastions, Crocus, Pariso and Kerouac and like said bands, they have a wonderfully emotive approach to hardcore punk that ebbs and flows through passages of flat-out aggression and more introspective moments of respite.
In true punk fashion, Boxkite’s debut self-titled EP is over and done in 6 minutes which means that Boxkite deal in a dense yet visceral type of hardcore that grabs you by the throat and shakes you until you pass out. Opener Struggles begins with a devastating blast-beat that quickly establishes the no-nonsense approach to music that the band deals in.
Boxkite aren’t exactly breaking the mould on this record but fans of hardcore punk will still be treated to one of the most perfectly crafted punk EPs this year. What Boxkite do so well is temper their nasty, crushing riffs and snotty yelling with passages where they let the bass guitar ring out. Cycles and Red Skies are great examples of this; the bass is often used to drench the song in a nice bit of gloomy atmosphere before the band unleashes another ball-busting riff. It’s a simple trick that keeps the record diverse and makes the aggression even more impactful.
What really impresses is the wonderful clarity. No single element of the sound is lost in this mix; the guitar sound is more like traditional punk rather than the HM-2 hardcore that’s become so popular nowadays. The bass cuts through the action with a wonderfully dirty twang, the drums smack you straight in the chest with each snare and bass drum hit and despite the lairy, yelled nature of the vocals, you can actually understand the lyrics.
Boxkite have burst out the gates with a hardcore debut that doesn’t mess about. This is 6 tracks of solid, bouncy yet strangely forlorn punk that leaves a serious mark. Anyone looking for the next great UK hardcore band might want to seriously consider grabbing Boxkite’s debut EP while it’s hot; you won’t regret it.
Boxkite’s debut self-titled EP is out now and available to download direct for the band or buy on red or black vinyl through Tangled Talk Records or Boslevan Records.
No need to beat around the bush here; The Catharsis’ Romance is an album you need to own. This is 32 minutes of the most uncompromising, unforgiving and down-right memorable hardcore and it’s a beautiful yet violent display of anger.
Right, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Romance is a hardcore record at heart and fans of Bastions, Converge, Gallows and Palm Reader will have plenty to enjoy. But simply calling this a hardcore record would be doing it a serious injustice. The whole records flows and weaves its’ songs together with finesse and manages to bludgeon you with riffs at the same time. The guitar work from Ash, Mikey and Matt is hugely memorable, expertly played and comes with heaps of hardcore stomp. The riffing on Romance absolutely tears through this release and the thunderous bass pops and twangs, punctuating every chord.
Let’s not forget vocalist Morgan and drummer Chris who play equally important parts. The drumming on Romance sounds like pure fury and Chris sounds like he’s destroying his body with this level of intensity. The drum work makes this release sound phenomenally huge. This is hardcore that doesn’t deserve to stay confined to the small stages.
Now let’s talk about Morgan. Here’s a vocalist who embodies everything a front man should be. Despite being predominantly a screamer, his vocals are wonderful tales of loss, anger and heart break and his vocals are clear throughout the entire release. Morgan also does a fantastic job of avoiding the hardcore trope of simply screaming over the music with no real structure. Morgan’s vocals work with the rhythm of the songs and reinforce the visceral nature of this entire release. He even manages to muster a cheeky laugh on Heart Burner that manages to make him sound “human” despite the fact he’s tearing his throat apart for the majority of Romance. Morgan should be proud of his performance on Romance because he manages something most screamers can only dream of; he sounds truly honest.
The Catharsis have not only put together one of the best hardcore releases this year but it deserves to be recognised as one of the best heavy albums ever made. There is no filler, padding or interludes on Romance; everything was put on this record for a reason. A record this intense has no place being so accessibly catchy but The Catharsis have managed to do exactly that. Listen to this album and then tell everyone you know about it. It really is that good.
The Catharsis’ Romance is available to buy from Speedowax and Enjoyment Records now.
Welsh hardcore heroes Bastions are back with their first release since their critically acclaimed debut album Hospital Corners. Bedfellows Part 1: The Bastard Son is the first piece of a two-part EP and sees the band slow things down considerably to allow for more calculated, doom-like heaviness in a similar to vein to The Great Unwashed from the band’s Island Living EP.
Bedfellows Part 1 might be the first part in a two-part release but this EP in itself also feels like two releases stitched together. Two of the tracks continue Bastions’ tried-and-tested hardcore punk formula with devastating effect, while the other two explore Bastions’ sludgy and catchier side. The two punky tracks come in the form of With Love and Life Less Lived. These two songs will be familiar territory for Bastions fans as they both tear their way through your eardrums at a fantastic pace and sound like they could have sat comfortably in the track list of Bastions’ debut album. This type of hardcore might be familiar but Bastions do it better than anybody.
Where things really become interesting is with the slower-paced Pallor and Amongst Crows. Instrumentation is nowhere near as technical as the previously mentioned songs but the music is big on atmosphere. Both songs create an eerie bleakness that is vast in scale and also features the most memorable song-writing in Bastions’ back catalogue. Bastions might be kings of hardcore but these two songs prove there’s an awful lot more to them then mosh-pits and riffs.
The only thing that works against this EP is that by the end of it all it really does feel like a small part of a bigger work. When Amongst Crows draws its’ final breath you’ll be left gasping for more and at only 11 minutes long you’ll understand why. Amongst Crows builds and builds and leads the listener to the start of what sounds like an explosive finale before ending the release on a massive cliffhanger.
Bastions have offered up an intriguing start to what might be a far better release when the second part arrives. Bedfellows Part 1: The Bastard Son sees the band explore exciting new territory that doesn’t feel out of place against the band’s familiar hardcore style. It’s a shame then that at only 4 tracks long, Bedfellows Part 1 cuts itself short just as it begins to pick up its’ pace. Watch this space because when Part 2 rolls around, we may have another stunning addition to Bastions’ already brilliant discography.
Bastions’ Bedfellows Part 1: The Bastard Son is available to buy on vinyl from Holy Roar Records now.
Bastions drummer Danny Garrod has left the band. Garrod has left a lengthy note explaining his decision on his personal Tumblr. You can read an excerpt below:
“Last week, I left Bastions. A band I founded nearly five years ago.
There is no final show for me, no last farewell tour before moving on to something new. There are no ‘real life’ reasons for my departure, just a very sad realization that the people I had worked with, people I considered family, ultimately, did not give a single damn about me.
I wanted to leave as far back as August, such was the limit as to how badly I felt I was treated. My ego couldn‘t handle it though. I could not bare the thought that the band would go and , no doubt, endure without me. I was made to feel replaceable; and I clung on desperately.
There are a myriad of reasons as to why I decided to leave; belittlement, disrespect, lack of gratitude, a stubborn refusal to understand my personal and family circumstances … and whereas I am almost certain my former bandmates are reading and thinking otherwise, I would like to say that I told them/you all on numerous occasions how I felt. I was either dismissed out of hand, or just out right ignored.”
You can read the full note via this link: CLICK HERE
UK Scumscene wishes Danny Garrod all the best for the future.
The dark hardcore beast that is Bastions have just unleashed a new music video for the track Amongst Crows which comes off their new 2 part EP Bedfellows. Check out this monster of a tune below:
Bedfellows Part 1: The Bastard Son is available to pre-order from Holy Roar Recors now on 12″ vinyl. The EP officially launches on February 18th 2013. Bedfellows Part 2 will follow later in the year.
Hardcore heroes Bastions are re-releasing their ‘Verses’ compilation on CD with artwork by Nathan Coyle of History of the Hawk. The original release was on cassette and sold out quickly. The CD collects their first 3 EPs ‘We Will All Sink’, ‘Kingdom of Dogs’ and ‘Island Living’ but does not include all the demos and live tracks that the original cassette version had.
You can pre-order the CD here or a special T-shirt and CD combo here.
Hardcore tour of the year! Pariso and The Long Haul are touring the UK in July for one hell of a tag-team. Full list of dates below:
1st of July, Bristol, The Croft
3rd of July, Edinburgh, Banshee Labyrinth
4th of July, Leeds, The Packhorse
5th of July, Truro, Live Bar
6th of July, Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
7th of July, London, Old Blue Last
The Old Blue Last show should also be a very special one as it’s Kerouac’s farewell show which also features support from Bastions and Gnarwolves.
The band’s are also looking for a show on the 2nd of July so if you think you can help, head over to Pariso’s Tumblr and drop them a line.