Overall Score: 9/10 Production: 9/10 Song-Writing: 9/10 Bruises Sustained: 9/10 Pros: Raw, influence heavy and basically kick-ass debut release. Cons: More songs... maybe a solo. But that's merely a personal gripe!
Riffs; both chuggy and meaty. Sprinkles of low-end rhythm with tight, spicy venom.
No, alas, not a recipe from ‘The Metal Cookbook’ but a clear summary of what’s in-store on the debut EP from London hardcore groove-merchants Tempers Fray.
Having toured with Rucktion label mates Crippler, Hard Target and an album release show with Cold Hard Truth, the band are already ploughing their way through the scene with a ferocious and visceral domination that echoes the stand-out chip-choppy twiddlings of the former carcass of Here Lies Affliction.
I’ve long missed out on much of the inner workings of the hardcore scene, save for brief showings at early Hang the Bastard and Hatebreed shows (and to some that still wouldn’t count) but that’s not to say I’m not a fan. Certainly not the biggest fan, but certainly not the skeptic I used to be…
As such, reviewing a hardcore record is often a tough call when my knowledge of the scene is limited but when that record is of good mates (and indeed my brother) the situation becomes a little tougher…
Therefore, this is a review that I can make solely on the merit of the song-writing and fortunately, the sheer unrelenting quality that exists on display here means the job is basically an easy one.
Harmonic riffage on ‘Blessed’ opens proceedings and influences pulling in past offerings from other bands swing back and forth serving up a rich, arm-circling beast. Further trade-offs of high and low from guitar-mercenaries Chris and Jon drive the songs and the ever-reliable rhyhm backbone of Moppy and Nick contain it; you can imagine the record on repeat in a kennel of pitbulls… each of the little buggers circling the new guy waiting and baying for the moment to attack.
Punchy and fearlessly commanded by Bob’s (lead) vocals, there is plenty of spite and menace without the typical cliches that are often forced upon you with other generic and type-cast material. Throughout the multitude of listens I’ve given the EP thus far in the mornings to work, I often find my pace picking up and my desire to smash my feet and forehead into the train-brothers around me… true testament to another defining release.
By the time the latter stages of that ball-crushing and familiar riff off ‘Blame’ warms up prior to Jon’s trademark whammy-masturbation I can’t out if my grin is purely glee or whether I’m in the latter stages of ‘face-melt’… Owing to the fact that it now feels I’ve gurned my face off for 4 days solid, I’ll go with the latter.
Make no mistake, although ‘7:15’ is another proud release for Tempers Fray and for me, personally, I feel like at least one negative comment should be made in the interest of balance. Though not as commonly found in the music of this scene compared to others, I would have loved to have heard some super bendy and searing solos cutting through the top-drawer riffs that layer the tunes. That said, I’d have hated for them to be there for the sake of it too… and it’s a finely crafted mix of anger, melody and riffs-guaranteed-to-induce-microwars nevertheless.
Forthcoming shows with the revived YOUR DEMISE in August / September should see the ladder-pegs conquered for a band with the experience, talent and massive ballsacks needed to hold their own against any and all contenders.
Check out the lads recent showing at Concrete Fest (complete with multi-cam goodness for all your cerebral requirements) below, pick up the EP over on Big Cartel and naturally, check out the happenings on their Facebook page.
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