London-based mathcore lunatics Ithaca have returned for their long-awaited second EP Trespassers. If you’re unfamiliar with the band’s work then imagine The Bled and Botch got moshier and you’re pretty much there. This is a testing collection of songs that are screamed with utter fury and conviction.
The record begins with Otherworldly which essentially encapsulates everything the band are about in one song. Vocalist Djamila has a frightening howl that cuts through the chaos that ensues. The band plays a very beatdown-centric type of mathcore that’s big on off kilter guitar madness without straying too far from a weighty breakdown. While the breakdowns do have a tendency to take away from the melody, they never outstay their welcome and they’re often sitting next to a chorus drenched in a thick, foreboding atmosphere. This is not a happy sounding band.
The band are definitely better when they temper their mosh-urges with sections stuffed with melody. Lifelost is a considerably better song when a big, memorable riff cuts through the beatdowns. Sadly there’s some pretty atonal guitar leads piercing the noise as well and it does become a bit harsh on the ears after a while. Thankfully there’s also a beautiful, delicate moment of respite that makes the return of the band’s heaviness feel all that more impactful.
Speaking of impact, that Mastodon-esque groove at the start of Wither & Wane is certainly something to behold. It’s moments like these that showcase exactly how fantastic the group of musicians in Ithaca can really be. The title track manages to prove this the best and earns its right as the title track in the process. Trespassers is a real journey of a song that’s full of heart-on-sleeve emotion. This is an electrifying performance that shows how gripping Ithaca can be when all their elements click into place.
Ithaca’s Trespassers is a dark, crushing affair complete with technical guitar passages, devastating beatdowns and horrific, lung-tearing atmosphere courtesy of Djamila’s haunting vocal performance. The breakdowns and atonal guitar leads do detract from an otherwise impressive selection of mathcore songs but generally Ithaca manage to hit more than they miss and Trespassers has a lot to offer for fans of mathcore.
Ithaca’s Trespassers is available now on clear 7″ vinyl through COF Records and Soaked in Torment Records.
TEEF are a punk band and like all the best punk bands they deal in nasty, stompy music that will whip a club into a rampage that won’t end until the audience are pulverized by studded jackets. They’re the sort of punk band that live by a ‘no nonsense’ attitude which means their music is fast, loud and catchy. They’re basically everything you want a punk band to be and while they’ve sadly announced their split so early into their career, they’ve left behind one of the greatest UK punk records we’ve had the pleasure of listening to. It’s called Admit Defeat and not owning it should be made a crime.
Admit Defeat is everything you love about punk. It’s an abrasive, snotty, bouncy record that isn’t afraid to tell you to “fuck everything” in its opening track. While these ten tracks clock in at around eight minutes, TEEF take you on a whirlwind tour of everything that makes punk so hugely exciting and it’s an absolutely electrifying experience.
Every part of the TEEF puzzle is firing on all cylinders. The sheer amount of riffs stuffed into these eight minutes show an exhausting display of guitar talent that makes you wish you wrote every damn riff on the entire thing. The bass punctuates every massive chord and beat with stunning precision, the drumming performance is beautifully unruly and the vocals display a man who is so close to the edge that he’ll probably throw you off it. This is a seriously dangerous-sounding record.
Let’s talk highlights; opener Scum is a gritty mosh pit anthem with a riff so bouncy it’ll shake venues to their ashes. Cathartic Release rocks a riff so catchy you’ll be headbanging wherever you’re listening to it. The drums on Still Here are enormously fun and full of great fills that sound like they’re fuelled by the most insane caffeine rush. Let’s not forget about the vocals; the vocal performance is just so wonderfully disgusting throughout. The music is also complemented by a fantastic mix which is full of impact and is bizarrely clear considering how painfully raw the music is.
TEEF have put together one of punk’s brightest moments. Admit Defeat is a non-stop powerhouse of grotty violence that’s amazingly memorable despite its aggression. No band in the UK has managed to meld fury with song-writing this catchy nearly as well as TEEF have managed to here and it’s a massive shame that the band won’t be making anymore music. Admit Defeat might be the last TEEF record but as swan-songs go, this couldn’t be any better.
TEEF’s Admit Defeat is out now on cassette through COF Records and vinyl through Headless Guru Records.