Top Sounds - I

INFESTED, THE - Raw Ensemble {EHC} Eleven track album from this band outta Leeds, England and it’s clear from the start they obviously have a LEFTOVER CRACK/ STAR FUCKING HIPSTERS vibe going on. There’s the same semi-barked/ semi-sneered vocals, high energy Punk rocking and aggro stabs of Ska. Throw in bursts of damaged Metal riffing, early RANCID, ANTI-FLAG and AGAINST ALL AUTHORITY and you have the picture. Tracks of interest include ‘Another Life’ that’s a clever track played out on acoustic guitars, ‘Dopamine’ that’s got some virtual MINISTRY riffing in parts and ‘Fight Or Flight’ that amps the ska a bit. Best track for me was ‘SSRI Or Die’ that featured stronger arrangement, good lyrics and less of those rather distracting growled Stza-esque vocals. Lyrically the album is interesting tackling all kinds of material from voting, consumerism, terrorism and containment and never once does it resort to a load of tired fuckisms. Not a record that’ll change my life but it’s well done, intelligent and if you obsess over LEFTOVER CRACK, then you may just have found the UK band for you. (05.07.18)

ITCHY-O - Mystic Spy/ Psykho Dojo {Mettle Studios} Latest seven tracks from this Denver outfit, and the first album to be released on their own label. The last I heard they were a 32-piece, that’s now swelled to 57 and this album “explores two themes: (1) a realm of esoteric trickery and espionage, and (2) a parallel universe of deep martial psychic discipline.” Sounds pretty deep but when you hear something as thrilling as ‘Black Mist’, it all makes sense. Soundwise, it’s more ambient and a tad more Industrial than the ‘Burn The Navigator’ album, bringing in Jazz influences and amping the SKINNY PUPPY/ MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO vibe. Other highlights include the nine minutes of ‘The Silver River’ that starts with minimalist, ambient beats, morphs into a virtual tribal war dance before a vaguely Spaghetti Western guitar line appears with a sadistic marching band behind it, and the danceable ‘Saptaloka’. As with before, you need to be in the right head-space for this - and maybe aware of the band’s sound as I found it a little less instant than ‘...Navigator’. (05.03.19)
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