Thursday, 5 April 2012

Hang The Bastard - S/T 12"


I've been following Hang The Bastard for quite a while ago, and quietly picking up their releases, as to me, they are one of the flag-bearers for the UK hardcore scene at the moment. I've been given the opportunity to review this. their latest release, which I was pretty stoked about.

This is their S/T 12" that's been released via the always amazing Thirty Days Of Night Records. I actually picked up the vinyl records before the review offer dropped into my inbox, so I can tell you all about it. Firstly, the cover art for the gatefold is cracking, the songs and lyrics are printed on the inside cover (which is a nice touch) and the record I've got comes on black vinyl, but there is also a yellow/red version.

Tracklist:-

1. Intro
2. Interplanetary Portals
3. Lesser Gods
4. The Year is One
5. Rivers Edge

Hang The Bastard starts with the obligatory intro track, made up of strangely anthemic guitar and pounding drums, smashing out a hypnotic rhythm. I don't know why, but it reminds of old-school thrash and wrestling, which can only mean one thing, it's brutal!

First track proper, Interplanetary Portals was the first song that HTB unleashed on the unsuspecting public, and what a statement of intent it is. All deep, dirty riffs and rabid screams. It's got a real frenetic pace about, whilst being delivered in a measured and assured way. The production also makes it sound really heavy, which is what you want from a hardcore record.

HTB weave in some subtle additions to make their sound more varied, like the spoken word mid section in Interplanetary Portals. The riffs that come later on are grooving and the breakdown towards the close, bring together those riffs with some tasty twin melodies and an awesome mid paced solo.

Lesser Gods starts with more of an urgent pace, blasting away from the onset, it's more a traditional hardcore song but still with all of their downtuned aggression. The melodic guitar touches are real class, showing that as HTB progress, so does the song writing and musicianship. I thought Hellfire Reign was brilliant, especially as it was my first introduction into HTB, and this takes that experience to the next level.

The Year Is One starts with some of the sludgy groove that inspired Hellfire Reign, and has a real rock n roll sense to it, especially with the wailing guitar that cries out at the start. This is a great chunk of sludgy hardcore, with the breakdowns that most bands would dream of, and by breakdowns I don't mean the stuff to slam dance to, but the breakdowns that cry out when your in a purple haze. This is the sound of modern day British Rockstars tearing the scene a new backside. Careering on with their own satisfaction in mind!

Rivers Edge is the final blast from HTB and sees them at their driving best. Striding along, all instruments in perfect harmony. It's probably the angriest song on the record, especially with those vocals. The addition of palm muted riffs and subtle, almost black metal growls add a sinister edge to the song and show off the influences that they are able to weave into their song writing. Rivers Edge ends in a cavernous wall of noise that leaves you feeling both violated and euphoric at the same time.

The record as a whole demands repeat listens due to the quality of the songs within. The decision to release these five songs on their own and not part of a longer album, was a master stroke as they prove strong enough to be appreciated on their own, while leaving you with a hankering for more. Let's hope they don't leave it too long!

Now, lucky for those of you who haven't heard this yet, it's available to stream via TDON's bandcamp page:-


And, if you like what you hear, and you should, you can still pick up the aforementioned yellow/red vinyl version from TDON Records at thirtydaysofnightrecords.bigcartel.com.

Also, make sure you head too HTB's facebook page as well at http://www.facebook.com/hangthebastard to find out about the tour they're about to embark on with Sylosis.

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