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Wednesday 24 April 2024

Reviews: Couch Slvt, Hollow Blessings, Rad, Motions (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Couch Slut - You Could Do It Tonight (Brutal Panda Records)

This is a hard listen. In a lot of ways. Musically Couch Slut are aggressive, uncompromising and relentless in their extreme noise terror, lyrically they rage about self harm (Wilkinson's Sword), killing sprees (The Weaversville Home For Boys), bloodbaths and assaults on women. It's ferocious and fiery, Megan Osztrosits' firebrand vocals that alternate between unhinged screams, guttural growls, hardcore roars and spoken word manifestos. It's thrown at you without trigger warnings and without hesitation. Confrontation through characterisation is what Couch Slut do, paying tribute to things personal to them, such as a local bar on Ode To Jimbo, a home invasion on Laughing And Crying and Megan's journey with self harm, all hard to hear all viscerally performed.

Along with Megan is co-founder Theo Nobel (drums), Kevin Hall (bass), Dylan Diella (guitar) and Amy Mills (guitars), the band are now well skilled having been together for over a decade and they produce their noise very slickly, throwing huge amounts of musical curve balls featuring members of Imperial Triumphant, Pyrrhon and Uniform adding vocals, synths piano and more. I'll be honest my head hurt when I first listened to You Could Do It Tonight but after repeated listens it really opens up itself as the extreme music classic it really is. If Couch Slut are half as antagonistic live as they are on record (by all accounts they are), then it will be something to behold. Until then though make sure that You Could Do It Tonight cleaves your ears. Not for the faint of heart but worth the audio abuse. 8/10

Hollow Blessings - Who Will Dig The Graves When There Is Nothing Left Of Us (Self Released)

Hollow Blessings play nasty, abrasive hardcore which often delves deeper with feedback drenched noise. Formed by members of South Wales sludge/hardcore outfit They Live We Sleep, Hollow Blessings play music that is shorter, more direct but every bit as abusive to the ear drums. As Charonium crashes into life, it's obvious that Hollow Blessings have a lot more to them usually than just hardcore bluster and noisiness. Instrumentally there's a lot going on as this track creeps out with anguish cries, From Nothing is driven by some gut punching basslines, choppy guitar breaks and even something that resembles a melody on the chorus. 

Breakdowns are juxtaposed by arpeggios, as we get some angular riffs and more pained shouts on Host Disorder. It's visceral stuff, mixed so it sounds filthy to the ear, relying a lot on the bass for it's main rhythms as the guitars are heavily distorted and fizz like white noise. Those of a nervous disposition best not listen as Who Will Dig The Graves When There Is Nothing Left Of Us, wields a rawness suitable only for a dead planet killed by hubris, Hollow Blessings have tapped into melancholic acceptance with their debut. 8/10

Rad - Demo (Self Released)

Were you like me brought up with Tony Hawks Pro Skater? Great Rad have a demo that you'll love! Just three tracks of crossover skater thrash which is inspired by D.R.I or Suicidal Tendencies, it's actually more like 2 songs and an intro, the band formed by a member of hardcore punk band Barriers. 

They say they're inspired by all thing bodacious, chunky breakdowns and thrash riffs are the order of the day on Dying To Live which is the longest cut here closing the demo strongly. There's lots of promise on Rad, gnarly skate thrash from Brighton. 7/10

Motions - Paralysis EP (Self Released)

Recorded at homes in Teeside, Motions recorded their EP based around the psyche of a person contemplating suicide, each part of the EP telling another chapter of this story. They hope the EP will help them support and push suicide awareness and that people may find catharsis through the modern metalcore Paralysis gives you. 

With so much riding on it conceptually, musically it delivers atmosphere and introspection from the off. Pugnacious on Deathgrip, Never Enough has grooves while Save Myself is more emotive with electronics fizzing. Paralysis brings a modern metalcore sound with pertinent lyrics, emotional and powerful. 7/10

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