Friday, 16 January 2015

Worms Feed - S/T MMXII LP


The stark image you see above is the cover art of the S/T LP (and epitaph) of Belgium hardcore band Worms Feed. Worms Feed called it a day in mysterious circumstances in 2013, leaving behind an EP and a 7". It was that 7" (called Black Snow and released via UK label Dog Knights Productions) that first caught my attention and I quickly snapped it up. I later wondered what had happened to them, as a couple of years hand gone by with only the promise of things to come.

Thankfully, burgeoning UK label Skin & Bones Records came to the rescue and released their S/T LP last year. It was destined to remain an Internet only release until the label released it on 300 pieces of black wax. Being a fan of the band and label, I picked up a copy, along with the patch and tote bag. The whole package that encases the record is suitably dark, much like the feeling when Worms Feed departed this mortal coil. This is my attempt to do the band and this release justice.

Tracklist:-

1. She Sang
2. Crawling In Reverse
3. Trashcanman
4. The Boy Who Cried Wolf
5. I Thought We Banned People Like You
6. Little Love Bird
7. Hank Williams Is Gone
8. Heading Nowhere Fast
9. Rehearsing Affection
10. Maggots Turn To Flies
11. Worms Feed On Us

In spite of the limited amount of material I’d heard prior to this release, I knew that Worms Feed were the type of band I could back, hard! Sadly they passed on too soon, but not without leaving behind their self-titled LP for us to enjoy as a parting gesture. The instrumental opener She Sang immediately stirs up the kind of emotions normally reserved for our closest animal/human friends. By that I mean real emotions. Worms Feed were never a band to stick to a blueprint, even in their short existence. Crawling In Reverse augments that point with the use of crust and blackened hardcore. That sets the scene for the rest of this record. They switch from mid—paced to grindingly fast quicker that you can flip a record on the amusingly titled Trashcanman. They played The Well (RIP) in Leeds once. I can only imagine what it would have been like in there with this song blasting out from the stage! Equal parts H8000 metallic hardcore and grinding violence.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf features the kind of drum rhythm and riff duo that wouldn’t have been out of place on “Orchestra Of Wolves” era Gallows. In between those passages, WF present darker verses that transcend all your favourite mosh. It’s that punk-edge that sets them apart from their peers for me. I’ve always associated Belgium with a more hard-edged sound but Worms Feed manages to add other elements into their music on I Thought We Banned People Like You, that proves otherwise. Okay, so they’re still heavy and angry, but they seem to project other nuances and feelings that some bands forget about. The slower, sludgier ending to the song proves that point further. You sometimes don’t appreciate how musical a heavy band can be and I’m sure that was the case for people on the periphery. Worms Feed prove with the opening riffs of Little Love Bird, that melody isn’t an enemy of theirs. Both the guitar and the more striking vocal melodies are used to challenge that perception. 

Music is always rehashed and copied now more than ever, but when bands do brave or different things, they often get ignored. This LP proves that the throwaway culture in which we live is wrong. WF possess occasional schizoid tendencies, as on Hank Williams Is Gone. Heralding a strangely subtle musical nod to the Country and Blues pioneer himself, they carve a striking silhouette. They’re obviously not big fans of Hank Williams III if this song's title is anything to go by! A lot of what makes heavy music so engaging for me is the impact left by the guitars and Heading Nowhere Fast is the epitome. The song starts with big riffs and they carry on through it’s full one-hundred and thirty-nine seconds of blackened, angry metallic hardcore. Another one of WF’s qualities is their ability to distill their songs into urgent yet commanding hymns. They don’t let them fumble along, believing that it’s better to leave the listener wanting more. Rehearsing Affection, with all that it’s moniker projects, is a prime example. Raging and to the point. 

The penultimate duo here are probably the most stark examples of the imagery put forth by Worms Feed. Maggots Turn To Flies starts with a bewildering wall of crust, that whilst brief, is still head-spinning. Seconds after, they break into off-kilter hardcore that is deafening. It’s all just a precursor though, as the final nail is delivered by Worms Feed On Us. Similar in stature (if not length) to that of Totem Skin’s closer on Still Waters Run Deep, “Seasons Don’t Fear The Reaper, We Can Be Like They Are”, WF leave the best till last. Its unsurprising that this is their longest song. Everything here sounds like it’s being flattened, from the crashing cymbals to the rumbling bass. WF make this track their final epitaph and like the lowering of a coffin, it requires both stillness and silence to appreciate the moment.  A brief moment in time captured in eleven short tracks. Worms Feed came and went with little fanfare from the majority but left an indelible impression on the few. For that they will forever have a place in my heart and that of those who will read this. Gone but most certainly not forgotten!.

You can stream their LP here:-



In a perfect world, this LP would have been snapped up and it's grooves worn from overuse, but amazingly Skin & Bones Records still has copies left (including the special record/tote/patch packages). Buy one from the store here - http://skinandbonesrecs.bigcartel.com/product/worms-feed-s-t-12

Worms Feed Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/wormsfeed/
Skin & Bones Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SkinAndBonesRecords

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