Sunday 2 March 2014

Famine - A Hand Of Sore Thumbs EP

I didn't get as much time as I'd have liked yesterday, so I'm going to try and make up for it today and get three reviews written this morning. Three reviews of UK fast stuff, starting with local Leeds PV duo (used to be a trio) Famine. In my eyes, Famine did things in the right way. They wrote songs and performed live numerous times, before they released their first official demo/EP, whatever you want to call it. I've lost track of how many times I've seen them, but they've always been ace.

A Hand Of Sore Thumbs was released digitally in October of last year and then on tape via Reagent Records in November. It was initially just five tracks but Famine have added to unreleased tracks to the digital version. Gig wise, they've notched up shows alongside Art Of Burning Water, The Afternoon Gentlemen, Heksed and Suffering Mind amongst others. They're also playing this years 'Kin Hell Fest, which is gonna be a total banger!


1. Famine
2. Sold Bowels (Saved Owls)
3. It Takes A Nation of Shopkeepers To Give Me Free Food
4. Squid
5. In Shortage
6. Grindsnore (Comp track)
7. Alligator Man (Comp track)

Famine have crafted an EP that features low rumbling grind, with multiple vocalists and raging drums. The title track starts fast, slows to near-sludge levels and then speeds back up again. Pretty simple grind song layout you might think, but oh no. For a band who have been honing their sound live, the opener Famine sounds more assured and musical than that of most grindcore/pv debuts. The movie samples help it along to, meaning there are no awkward silences or pauses between songs.

Sold Bowels (Saved Owls) starts with some great drumming and screeching feedback. There’s crossover influences shoved into the song and the production gives it a retro feel. It’s not all polished and super clean, it’s just good and exactly what grind should sound like. The third song is about an unfortunate event that happened as Leeds cafe A Nation of Shopkeepers, though I don’t fully remember what actually happened. It’s a more immediate blast of grind and the melody from the guitar is strangely warming, considering the low-tuning.

Famine seem to get more ferocious as they flail through A Hand Of Sore Thumbs, with Squid coming and going in the blink of an eye. In Shortage follows and it the longest song on the EP and the last of the original five. Again it’s a mix of fast and slow sections, with more thrash riffs mixed in. Famine were a three-piece when this was recorded and each member contributes vocals on this release. The ending to In Shortage is raging and those cannibalistic spoken-word samples are the perfect backdrop. 

The compilation tracks tagged onto the end consist of Grindsnore and Alligator Man. Grindsnore actually appeared on my digital compilation last year (shameless plug!) ad it’s thirty-three seconds of snotty attitude and buzzing feedback. Alligator Man ends it all with punk vibes. It’s probably the most chaotic song on the EP, as the drumming is crazy. It’s obvious throughout this song and the EP that Famine’s choice to scream without American accents is a good idea. They have a more unique and richer sound because of it. Forget about all of your Scion AV backed grind, this is what you really should be listening to.

You can stream and download A Hand Of Sore Thumbs here:-

If you want to download my digital compilation, featuring Grindsnore and songs by similarly awesome local bands, head here -

Tape copies have been sold out at Reagent Records for a while, so you should pester them to repress it.

Famine Facebook page -
Reagent Records Facebook page -

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