Tag Archives: pariso

Review: Boxkite’s Boxkite

boxkite

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.

8/10

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.

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Live Review: Pariso’s Farewell Show Feat. Employed to Serve, Daggers & Svalbard 4/9/2015

Employed to Serve

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Employed to Serve have turned into a well-oiled, mosh machine since I last saw them. The band has now turned out one of the most intense metallic hardcore records and their live performance is just as visceral. What’s instantly striking about the band is despite their possessed display of on-stage antics, they’re a seriously tight and well-rehearsed act. The band does a magnificent job of stirring the crowd into an early frenzy and put on one of the best shows that UK hardcore has to offer. This is an excellent beginning to an excellent evening.

Daggers

daggers

Daggers were a bit of an odd choice for this bill and the crowd definitely reciprocated this feeling. The band plays an almost free-form type of doomy hardcore that often dips into sombre moments of respite before beating you over the head with a nasty, sludge-ridden riff. Sadly, the band’s quiet/loud dynamic moved back-and-forth too frequently to allow them to gain any momentum and this became a pretty underwhelming performance, especially considering how well Employed to Serve had ignited a lot of energy for tonight’s proceedings.

Svalbard

svalbard

My word, have Svalbard have become something special or what. The band plays a wonderfully euphoric yet punky form of post hardcore that’s big on fast-paced drumming and beautiful, glittery, guitar leads. There’s a gorgeous atmosphere about Svalbard’s music which is very rare in heavy music and despite the band clearly pouring their heart and soul into a very loud performance, the whole thing just feels very uplifting. Svalbard are an outstandingly unique band and tonight’s performance has me super-excited for their upcoming debut album.

Pariso

pariso

So this is it, the final Pariso show. Pariso always felt like the UK hardcore act that would last and while they’ve certainly had a bloody good innings, tonight’s performance makes it instantly apparent how much people are going to miss them. The room is absolutely packed and the moment the band start playing the crowd ignites. Pariso’s special blend of down-tuned metallic hardcore is still one of the most unique sounds to come out of UK hardcore and the band is firing on all cylinders. Vocalist Mazz incites some of the most furious mosh-pits I’ve seen at the Camden Unicorn and he does it with a wonderful humility and appreciation for the audience. An all-star cast of the band’s friends make it on stage with Sammy and Justine from Employed to Serve doing a fantastic job of keeping the moshers satisfied and there’s even a surprise appearance from Kerouac’s Thom Denson who looks absolutely dangerous on stage. Despite some mic problems which were bound to happen with the sheer number of people screaming into them, Pariso’s farewell is a visceral, sweaty celebration of one of UK hardcore’s most beloved acts and despite the sadness of seeing them go, they give their fans one of their defining performances.


Review: Employed to Serve’s Greyer than You Remember

Employed-To-Serve

Employed to Serve have fucking arrived. Going from a 2 piece studio project to full blown metallic hardcore band has been a long journey and while the band’s previous EP Change Nothing, Regret Everything hinted at greatness, nothing could have prepared us for Greyer than You Remember.

Greyer Than You Remember marks Employed to Serve’s first foray into the world of long players and the moment Live Without bursts out the gate you’re instantly bludgeoned with some of the most devastatingly dense hardcore this side of a Converge record. Employed to Serve are clearly cut from the same sort of cloth as metallic hardcore’s finest like the aforementioned Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Coalesce but this is a band born and bred in the UK’s hardcore scene and you can hear shades of Throats and Pariso running through their veins.

So let’s talk about the music because my God there’s a lot to dissect. Employed to Serve have given up on singing entirely in favour of sounding like a tornado is ripping through your home. Justine Jones’ vocal performance is nothing short of terrifying and she’s managed to evolve into one of the leading female screamers this country has to offer. Sammy Urwin continues to floor the opposition with as many riffs as he can produce and if anyone’s familiar with his work in either Oblivionized or Regurgitate Life you’ll know exactly what madness this man can achieve.

These two elements are bolstered by additional guitar work by James Jackson and bassist James Venning who give the record that devastating thickness. Tying everything together is a drum performance by Robbie Black who should probably be having a hard time keeping up with his band-mates but there are no such worries here. The drums have that wonderfully enormous live quality to them that producer Lewis Johns is so magnificent in capturing. Employed to Serve sound like a fucking rampage.

The band does manage to muster a few moments of melody like on the Vales-esque Bones to Break. These moments act as a temporary reprieve from the onslaught contained in the rest of the record and they show a wonderfully introspective side to the band that manages to add some real texture to the record.

It’s impossible to justify any criticism towards this record. Employed to Serve have absolutely mastered their craft and if dense, bastard-heavy hardcore is your thing than Greyer than You Remember is filled wall-to-wall with some of the genre’s finest moments. The album barely gives you a moment to breath in favour of demanding you mosh harder and it’s almost euphoric in its density.

9/10

Employed to Serve’s Greyer than You Remember is out now and available to order from Holy Roar Records.


Year End: The Top 5 Best Splits of 2014

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5) Teef/Minors

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A late release from Headless Guru Records, this split does not mess about. UK punk-thrashers TEEF have joined forces with American dark hardcore act Minors to deliver a 3 minute burst of pure aggression. TEEF are the sort of band that will have old school punks pogo-ing until their knees shatter and Minors conjure up memories of bands like Lavotchkin and End Reign which is nothing but a good thing. It might be short but it’s perfectly formed.

4) War Wolf/Crossburner

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What we said:

“War Wolf and Crossburner have delivered an EP that will satisfy hardcore fans the world over. This is a seriously strong collection of tunes that deserve your attention despite some small grievances with over-familiarity in War Wolf’s case and not enough time being spent driving home the strong melodies in Crossburner’s arsenal. If you’re a fan of the genre you’re still in for an absolute treat.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

3) Rolo Tomassi/Stockades

rolotomassistockades

What we said:

“Rolo Tomassi might be losing their more unpredictable and progressive elements, but songs like Adrasteia prove the band are still an engaging mathcore band even when they’re playing things a little more straight forward.

Stockades offer up a lovely little progressive screamo anthem and it beautifully flows through its various riffs and melodies with ease. It’s still early days for these boys but it would appear they’ve already nailed and extremely accomplished sound that I’ll be paying some serious attention to from here on.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

2) Oblivionized and Razoreater – This is S.O.A.N.

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What we said:

“Oblivionized and Razoreater are champions of the UK underground music scene and this recording showcases exactly what’s so great about going to a dirty club show and getting your mosh on. This release is also accompanied by a live video recording of both band’s sets which is essential viewing if you’ve ever cared about the long lost art of the concert film.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

1) Pariso/Svalbard

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What we said:

“Regardless of the fact that the amalgamation comes off more as Pariso instead of Pariso and Svalbard, this collaborative album is an incredibly special release from two very unique bands. Pariso’s heavier yet more metal-laden beginning leads into a more positive and melodic second half courtesy of Svalbard that actually feels like the album takes you on a journey through the dark and into the light. This split actually tries to break down the boundaries of the split record concept by showcasing two bands that are very much on the same page regardless of their differences in sound. This could have been a Loutallica but thankfully it’s a wholesome and focussed release that any fan of heavy music should be listening to.”

Read the full review by clicking here.


Review: Pariso and Svalbard’s Self-Titled Split Album

parisosvalbard

Pariso and Svalbard return for a release that is truly unique among hardcore splits; this is a collaborative album with both bands contributing a set of songs as well as joining forces for 2 very unique tracks that showcase a beautiful cacophony of styles that draw from the best parts of both band’s sounds.

Pariso lead the proceedings on this split and the band have decided to play in a lower tuning than usual to make their sound even more difficult to pigeonhole. Pariso make a form of progressive hardcore that brings in elements of groove metal that result in crushing breakdowns like the one featured in Underground Notes. If you can imagine Hatebreed by way of Korn and Every Time I Die you’d be in the sort of area you’d need to be in to appreciate Pariso’s incredibly unique sound.

I’ve joked in the past that Pariso are the founders of nu-grind but thanks to the band’s lower tuning this is becoming less of a joke and actually the only genre I can think that suits them perfectly, especially in regards to these recordings. The opening of Delirium also abides to this rule by featuring a relentless grindcore-esque blast-beat that only gives up to deal another punishing groove.

What Pariso are becoming very good at is interspersing their noise with some brilliant leads that actually help deliver a lot of melody. This was brought into the fold during the writing of their previous album Consanguinity and it’s great to see it used prominently in songs like Helios, The Great Demise.

Now onto Svalbard who despite having a sound rooted in hardcore are somewhat different to Pariso. Svalbard’s sound draws from punk far more heavily than Pariso’s and the no-nonsense opening of Ripped Apart delivers an awesome punk beat that soon expands into a post hardcore sound that is far more melodic in nature.

Svalbard’s music is wonderfully textured and features some absolutely soaring leads that add a sense of euphoria and positivity that’s at juxtaposition with the band’s aggressive nature. The band reminds us of gone-but-not-forgotten post rockers Rinoa but with the hardcore punk leanings of a band like Vales. It’s quite a beautiful racket.

Like Pariso before them Svalbard are another underground UK band who have absolutely nailed a sound of their own and despite their longer songs the band also manage to sound like they’re giving it their all for the entirety of their music. Grayscale is mind-bogglingly intense but it still manages to fit some glittery leads into its near 5 minute hardcore punk attack and it’s an exhausting yet brilliant post hardcore anthem.

Finally it’s important we discuss the collaborative tracks on this split. While the two songs (Floating Anchors and Faceless) clearly draw on elements from both bands’ music, it’s Pariso who seem to be making the decisions in regards to the songs’ structure. Both tracks are shorter 2 minute bursts of extremely progressive metallic hardcore with the only discernible Svalbard elements being the melodic guitar leads and the inclusion of Serena on vocals as well as Mazz.

Regardless of the fact that the amalgamation comes off more as Pariso instead of Pariso and Svalbard, this collaborative album is an incredibly special release from two very unique bands. Pariso’s heavier yet more metal-laden beginning leads into a more positive and melodic second half courtesy of Svalbard that actually feels like the album takes you on a journey through the dark and into the light. This split actually tries to break down the boundaries of the split record concept by showcasing two bands that are very much on the same page regardless of their differences in sound. This could have been a Loutallica but thankfully it’s a wholesome and focussed release that any fan of heavy music should be listening to.

8/10

Pariso and Svalbard’s split self-titled album is out now on 12″ vinyl through Tangled Talk Records.


Touring: Employed to Serve, Svalbard, Pariso and More

parisosvalbard

If you like heavy music from the UK’s wealth of noisey talent then you are absolutely spoilt for choice right now. Below we have compiled a list of tours and shows that are worthy of your attention because they feature some of our favourite bands currently doing the rounds.

Pariso & Svalbard Split Tour
11/7 – Katie Fitzgerald’s, Stourbridge
12/7 – The Roxy 171, Glasgow
18/7 – Unicorn, London
19/7 – Edge of the Wedge, Portsmouth
2/8 – Summerfest at Frog&Fiddle 2 Pigs, Cheltenham
3/8 – Sick Sick Six Fest, Leicester

Employed to Serve & Svalbard European Tour
5/8 – DNA, Brussels
6/8 – AJZ Talshock, Chemnitz
7/8 – TBA
8/8 – Capsloc, Capelle Aan Den Ijssel
9/8 – Waldmeister, Solingen
10/8 – TBA

Other Great Shows
9/7 – Unicorn, Camden (ACxDC, Implore, Oblivionized, Razoreater & TEEF)
18/7 – Rigger, Newcastle (Empires of Light, Burden of the Noose & Black Heath Coven)
19/7 – Stuck on a Name Studios, Nottingham (Oblivionized/Razoreater split recording)
15-17/8 – Chimpyfest at T Chances, Tottenham Court Road (feat. The Atrocity Exhibit, Razoreater & Confine)
23/9 – Old Blue Last, Shoreditch (Hexis, Rainmaker, Let It Die, Employed to Serve & Oblivionized)


Year End: The 5 Best Split Records of 2013

bestsplits

Before we start our list of the best split records of 2013, please remember that this list was decided by one person and therefore represents the opinions of one person. This will likely not reflect your own opinion but that’s okay; there’s room for more than one opinion in this crazy world of ours and your’s is just as valid. As per the theme of UK Scumscene, this list also contains releases by UK bands ONLY. Okay then, let’s get this show on the road:

5) War Wolf/Sob Story

warwolfsobstory

A double dose of crusty, sludgy hardcore from Brighton’s War Wolf and Sob Story. This split cassette contains some seriously abrasive stuff, but like a lot of the best UK hardcore it’s smart and bizarrely memorable for something so raucous. Both bands absolutely knock it out of the park but special mention has to be given to War Wolf who have put out a mini-album, this split and a proper long-player in this year alone.

4) Razoreater/Iced Out

What we said:

“Both bands put forward some of the best music they’ve recorded so far and do it in such a vicious way that they sound like they’ve put everything they had into these recordings. Razoreater and Iced Out have our attention and they’ll soon be coming for yours.”

Read the full review here.

3) Let it Die/Monolithian – Because the World is Perfidious, I Am Going Into Mourning

letitdiemonolithian

What we said:

“Let It Die and Monolithian’s split seven-inch is a savage showcase of two of the best UK underground metal bands and they’re on brilliant form. With songs like this, both bands won’t be playing the toilet circuit for much longer so you better get on board before you miss your opportunity. This is an essential addition to any metal fan’s collection.”

Read the full review here.

2) Let it Die/Pariso/Svalbard/MINE – Cover Buzz

4way_split

What we said:

“‘Cover Buzz’ is a wonderfully ambitious and overblown release. Fans of hardcore punk will find a lot to love as four of the UK’s brightest hopes play classic hardcore with all the piss and vinegar you’d expect from one of their own releases. It’s also brilliant to see five record labels stump up a bit of support for such an elaborate release. Records like this manage to showcase some of the most interesting ideas in UK heavy music and it’s a release we can’t recommend enough.”

Read the full review here.

1) Gurt/Limb – Split Roast

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This split was enormous amounts of fun and heavier than my balls after a year of abstinence. There hasn’t been any other split that’s been as thoroughly enjoyable all year. The pairing of both Gurt and Limb was a match made in heaven with both bands giving it their all.

What we said:

“Gurt and Limb’s ‘Split Roast’ is a wonderful release that is equal parts punishing and fun. How many doom records can you name that you would regard fun? This is the real pulling factor on ‘Split Roast’ and you can hear that both bands had an absolute blast making it. Is party doom a thing yet because I think both bands may have just invented it.”


Review: Let it Die, Pariso, Svalbard & MINE – Cover Buzz

4way_split

‘Cover Buzz’ is a rather exciting four-way split between UK hardcore upstarts Let it Die, Pariso, Svalbard and MINE. The seven-inch jukebox single has no less than five record labels behind it and the quality of the product is a true testament to the communal vibe of UK heavy music. It’s also going to be a release that sees a load of hardcore kids rush to eBay to purchase 45RPM turntable adaptors as in true jukebox fashion, the record’s middle has been punched out.

Without further ado, let’s discuss each band’s contribution to this unique little release:

LET IT DIE – WAR IN THE HEAD

Let it Die deal with their cover of 7 Seconds’ ‘War in the Head’ in the only way they can; play the thing at breakneck speed and crank the power violence up to its absolute extreme. We’ve said this before on the website but Let it Die manage to sound angrier and angrier on each release and these forty seconds of unbridled rage showcase the band at their absolute best. What an opening.

9/10

PARISO – STRAIGHT HYPOCRISY/IMAGES

Pariso also take a similar approach in making their two covers sound as much like themselves as they could. They also took that typical Pariso approach and one-upped everyone else on the release by doing two covers instead of one (see the band’s split with Kerouac to see them put forward five songs in two and a half minutes while Kerouac can only muster one). The band tackle songs from Witch Cult and Weekend Nachos and fuel them with that brilliantly mathy edge that Pariso do so well but also manage to add plenty of Hatebreed-esque stomp as is typical of the band. Pariso are in the wonderful position of being a band that sound completely unique which is a pretty difficult thing to do in a scene as dense as UK hardcore.

9/10

SVALBARD – THIS IS THE END

Svalbard put forward a cover of Victims’ ‘This is the End’ and instead of moulding the song into something that would sit comfortably in Svalbard’s own back catalogue, they take the approach of playing the track in a similar vein to the original. This obviously means Svalbard’s cover lacks the impact of a re-imagining like the two songs that preceded it, but it is fascinating to hear the post-metallers play straight forward hardcore without the bells and whistles they add to their own sound.

8/10

MINE – EVERYBODY HATES ME

MINE also take the Svalbard approach by playing their cover of Tear it Up’s ‘Everybody Hates Me’ as close to the original as possible, but once again it’s interesting to hear the band play no frills punk instead of their own blend of post rock and hardcore. MINE’s cover sounds endearingly lo-fi in comparison to the rest of the songs on ‘Cover Buzz’ and it adds an air of authenticity to the song that suits its inclusion on a jukebox single perfectly.

8/10

‘Cover Buzz’ is a wonderfully ambitious and overblown release. Fans of hardcore punk will find a lot to love as four of the UK’s brightest hopes play classic hardcore with all the piss and vinegar you’d expect from one of their own releases. It’s also brilliant to see five record labels stump up a bit of support for such an elaborate release. Records like this manage to showcase some of the most interesting ideas in UK heavy music and it’s a release we can’t recommend enough.

‘Cover Buzz’ featuring Let it Die, Pariso, Svalbard and MINE is available to buy now from Dog Knights Productions, Enjoyment Records, Moshtache Records, Tangled Talk Records and Cult Culture.


Review: Stallone’s Mire

Cover-Hi-Res

I don’t know what it is in the hardcore community that makes bands want to up their technicality to preposterous levels of techy, prog goodness but I love that it keeps happening. Coming across like a hybrid of Pariso and Palm Reader, Stallone have burst out of the gates with their debut mini-album ‘Mire’ and it’s a seriously impressive piece of tech-core (you watch, it’ll catch on).

Stallone’s modus operandi is to make screamy hardcore punk filled with twists and turns and song structures that evolve and never return to the same melody twice. Mire is an extremely demanding release to listen to but there’s never a dull moment. For example, semi-title track ‘In The Mire’ puts forward an entire album’s worth of riffs in its 2 and half minute song length and it makes for an absolutely frantic listening experience.

What helps Stallone’s quest for all the riffs is that every one they put on display is pretty memorable in its own right. In fact, some of the riffs are unnecessarily catchy and make me want to get out on the dance floor like the groovy lick at the start of ‘They Drew’. There’s a huge amount of variety and diversity on ‘Mire’ and while it’s consistently wild and noisy, it’s always engaging to listen to.

The only real negative I can throw at this release is that if you take the songs alone they can suffer from not sounding particularly cohesive. Without returning melodies or choruses, the songs rely on their pace and sheer volume of ideas to engage the listener but this does have an unfortunate side effect of making the entire 25 minutes of ‘Mire’ sound like an unruly mash-up of ideas.

Thankfully, the riffs and intensity of the release make up for the fact that some listeners might have a hard time listening to songs that lack a central hook. If you like your music fast, interesting, tight and loud then Stallone have you covered. ‘Mire’ is a hugely impressive mini-album that is stuffed with an over-abundance of ideas and riffs that fans of both tech-metal and hardcore punk will find a joy to listen to.

8/10

Stallone’s Mire is released on 12″ black vinyl through Tangled Talk Records and Enjoyment Records on October 7th.