Well it’s been a while. Despite my best intentions of keeping the blog updated weekly, they stumbled and expired on the side of the highway like some knackered old tramp on a hot day when confronted with the greater evil of  an academic deadline looming on the horizon. Consider this update a palate cleanser for me then rather than an omen of things to come. I don’t know if or when I’ll be resuming regular posting/editing here. I don’t plan on leaving it entirely in abandons care but there’s a fallow season upon us.

To business then, first up is the demo from  World Of Difference. They are a new straight edge band that, if memory serves me correctly, contains former members of the Dublin group Bang Bros amongst others….

Right lets get the bad out of the way first…..that name is Euro Core as fuck. And whilst It’s not as bad as Fumbles In Life or Group Hug or Be Kind, Rewind or whatever  it’s certainly on a par with Birds Of A Feather, for reals. I’ve always struggled with that very earnest side of Straight Edge hardcore with it’s boy scout mentality because it just sits at odds with my own version of straight edge. When it comes to the crunch I’ll always be a We Just Might guy rather than Time To Forgive dude.

None of that matters here though because, bonk name aside, World Of Difference play exactly the sort of music I like to hear. It’s classic sounding ’97 revival era straight edge hardcore. I’m talking Floorpunch, Rancor, Hands Tied…any of those bands off the …Tension Building comp basically. The songs build up and breakdown exactly where you expect them too and whilst this demo offers no surprises it doesn’t disappoint either. The lyrics are full of bold declarations of Straight Edge pride, finger pointing judgements and a scornful disdain for your lack of moral fibre. The breakdown in When Worlds Collide is a confirmed pit starter and makes me feel like I want to X up immediately despite being 41 and sat typing this in my pyjamas.

I’ll always have a soft spot for any music coming out of my hometown of Margate. It’s a dirty desolate shithole situated on the scabby knuckle of England. But, despite it’s georaphical remoteness and tawdry reputation, folk down there keep on trying. Harrowed, Unholy Majesty, The Break In, Ohmms, Sky:lark,  Lich, Canaan and let’s not forget Split Bitch have all crawled out of Thanet’s stygian waters over the years. I truly believe theres something in the place that fills its more creative inhabitants with the belligerence and venom to keep spitting back at the world.

Oriza is a filthy sounding crust punk/sludge band that is comprised of load of old Margate barnacles still clinging onto the tenets of extreme music despite existing in a Thanet vacuum. For a first demo it’s not too shabby and feels like Eyehategod with some hints of Acid Bath in places, the vocals are seething and the riffs vicious but it’s too loose and sloppy to be as lethal as it could be. One of the key ingredients with bands of this style is sounding loose and chaotic and on the verge of disaster whilst still maintaining a solid backbone that prevents the whole thing collapsing in on itself. Once Oriza master that I’m sure their next recordings will rage.

The fact that the Beast As God/Rot In Hell split 7″ never got finished is a source of much personal torment for me as I thought that band were absolutely incredible. BxAxG were talented and furious not to mention criminally under-rated.

Now sadly defunct, the guys have kindly made their last recordings available to you, the dumb people of the internet. If you slept on Beast As God, well more fool you because they played Metallic Hardcore like they used to make in the 90’s. I’m talking Gehenna and Fall Silent and Catharsis all that real dirty punk metal shit. Get into it.

We did a number on the first demo from Midlands metallic hardcore mob Cruelty last year and whilst it was a decent first effort from the band , I felt it definitely had a few clunky transitions here and there. But that’s what demos are for isn’t it, to find ones feet sonically and figure out what works and what does not.

Well what a difference a year makes, Cruelty return from the depths of the black country with this five song recording on Rage that has got some proper blood in it’s teeth. BIG Undying/Arkangel vibes here with the metal influences that were hinted at on the demo ramped up 666%. Holy fuck this is actually so good, the song writing has accelerated drastically since the demo. The vocals have got a definite Chris Colohan circa The Swarm quality, not least the spitting disdain with which they are delivered. There’s hard breakdowns and savage riffs and all that shit but the thing I love most about these songs is how genuinely angry they feel, the molten fury is tangible, it’s like standing next to a blast furnace with the door open.

Cruelty use plenty of jarring discordance to keep things sounding punk and from becoming too much of  90’s euro metalcore circle jerk, the lyrics are intelligent without disappearing up their own arse and I honestly can’t get enough of this thing. Good work everyone.

That’s it from me for a while. University and two jobs is sucking my will to live, let alone write. Once this bullshit is out of my hair  and I can enjoy life again expect some more frequent updates. In a bit.