Post hardcore stalwarts Svalbard have finally seen fit to write and record their debut album after three years of EPs, splits and singles and their tried and tested formula of glittery post punk mixed with hardcore is still as beautiful and engaging as ever. The only difference is now the band have the room to really let loose and One Day All This Will End takes the listener on one of the most emotional journeys heavy music has to offer.
Opener Perspective really does exactly what it says on the tin by giving the listener an introduction to what the band is all about. This is a wonderfully progressive journey that ebbs and flows between gorgeous melody and heart on sleeve aggression. Vocalist and guitarist duo Serena Cherry and Liam Phelan deliver an almost entirely screamed vocal performance throughout but compliment the lack of vocal melodies by showcasing their talents via their fantastic guitar work which straddles the fence between beautiful, sparkling guitar leads and devastating, stompy riffs.
Svalbard are a band with a sound that is surprisingly approachable and anyone looking to get into hardcore punk will have a fantastic jump-on point with this record. For every burst of vicious aggression there is a beautiful melody to wrap your ears around and that’s the real masterstroke of Svalbard’s sound.
Despite the heavy focus on soaring guitar melodies, some of Svalbard’s heaviest work is also featured on One Day All This Will End. Songs like Disparity and Expect Equal Respect are the closest things to no-nonsense punk that Svalbard have ever concocted and having them sandwiched in between these gorgeous moments of emo-esque respite makes their impact even greater. Enough can’t be said about the way this albums moves in such a wonderfully natural way.
By the end of the closing moments of Lily, Svalbard have taken you on a post hardcore journey like no other. One Day All This Will End is one of the best punk releases birthed in the UK and Svalbard have mastered an amazingly eclectic sound that’s equal parts angry, beautiful and forlorn. One Day All This Will End is essential listening to fans of post hardcore and a welcoming introduction to anyone looking to explore the more progressive side of hardcore.
Svalbard’s One Day All This Will End is out now and available to purchase through Holy Roar 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.
If you haven’t yet familiarised yourself with Yamabushi Recordings then you won’t be aware that the label have become exceedingly good at championing some of the most disgusting, snotty bands currently lurking in the UK’s toilet circuit. Nembutal slot into the Yamabushi fold comfortably and their blend of nasty, vicious fastcore and crust punk means that the band don’t muck around when it comes to song-writing.
Unlike most bands of this nature, Nembutal actually manage to fit more ideas into a single song than your average 30 second power violence band. This is obvious by simply looking at the track times; the band average 2 minutes per song and there’s an awful lot going on in each track. Melody is completely reliant on the guitar and thankfully the band have an onslaught of riffs to throw your way. Despite the speed of the playing, the guitar often stays pretty high in the mix which allows you hear the melodies. There’s even a cheeky little solo on Decay which gives the track some real flare.
The other part of the instrumentation that really excels is the unrelenting drum-work. This is one of the most intense drumming performances I’ve heard on a punk record and it’s exhilarating to listen to. God only knows what seeing Nembutal in a live environment must be like. I imagine it’s the audio equivalent of being dragged under the wheels of a speeding truck. It certainly feels like it on record.
Finally, the vocals tie up the whole package nicely and the constant switch between high-pitched screams and phlegm-ridden growls keep the proceedings as interesting as the instrumentation. The only part of the instrumentation that might be a bit lacking is the bass, but this is more a fault of the mix rather than the actual playing; it’s just very difficult to hear.
Nembutal’s debut demo is a relentless, steamroller of a record that densely packs as many riffs as it can into a single song. 5 tracks later and it’s like you’ve been entered into a UFC match with a professional competitor. Nembutal might not be doing anything countless punk bands have done before them, but they do it with such balls-out aggression that it can’t be ignored.
Nembutal’s Demo is out now through Yamabushi Recordings. You can download it for a pay-what-you-want price by clicking here.
F. Emasculata are an X-Files-themed hardcore punk band from Cornwall. Being able to write a sentence like that is one of the reasons I love punk; there’s always fun to be had with a good gimmick. The band return with their second mini album IAXFE and it’s another collection of ten thoroughly angry yet bizarrely hook-ridden songs.
The four oiks in F. Emasculata deal in snotty, lairy vocals and short bursts of vicious riffs and while their style isn’t particularly original, they pull it off with all the piss and vinegar you could ask for. It’s hard work making punk in this day and age and even harder work sounding original but F. Emasculata understand this, so to make up for it they stuff as many riffs into these fifteen minutes as possible.
The riffs are what really make F. Emasculata work. There’s a huge skate-punk influence running through the guitar work on IAXFE and despite the aggression, there’s plenty of great melodies to pump your fist to. It’s like listening to Bad Religion but with vocals more reminiscent of The Exploited.
When F. Emasculata are at their best they’re marrying these catchy, punk riffs with moments of unbridled fury like on Little Green Man and EBE. This diversity makes F. Emasculata’s music unpredictable yet memorable, which is exactly what you want from a modern punk record.
Despite how well the music is constructed, F. Emasculata still suffer from overfamiliarity. As we’ve already mentioned, being a punk band in this day and age is incredibly hard work thanks to how tried and tested the formula is and while F. Emasculata make all the right sounds, they’re gimmick isn’t unique enough to add something new to the genre.
Regardless, F. Emasculata have added another collection of furious punk anthems to their arsenal and they’re delivered through gritted teeth and bountiful aggression. If you’re a fan of punk then F. Emasculata’s IAXFE should be a record you should seriously be considering adding to your collection, but you might find a certain familiarity creeping in.
F. Emasculata’s IAXFE is out now on limited edition cassette. You can grab a copy from AWOL Records or Rip Roaring Shit Storm Records.