Posts Tagged ‘Motorhead’

Warren Records – 25th November 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s something about the post-industrial, post-fishing east coast towns and cities. One might consider them to be appropriately named: Hull is just a vowel away from hell, and Grimsby, well, forget Douglas Adams’ ‘Meaning of Liff’, it’s all in the first syllable. But as history shows, time and again, run-down areas reinvent themselves as creative hotbeds as people channel their frustration creatively, and ultimately lift themselves out of the doldrums.

And so, first, it was all exploding in Hull, and the fishy backwater hellhole proved itself worthy of the ‘city of culture’ title in no small part to its thriving music scene which has given us some belting bands of late.

Sewer Rats evoke the spirit of Seattle – another dingy city in decline before it became the musical hub of the world in the early 90s – with the EP’s lead track, ‘Mother Acid.’ It’s a gritty, grainy, guitar-driven effort, and Luke Morris’ vocals betray the influence of heavy psych and US hardcore, and are as much coughed and spat as sung. And as the rhythm section rumbles on, a twisted guitar solo teeters from the speakers. And such is the flavour of the EP as a whole: it’s got some serious heft, the hell-for-leather drumming combined with the gnarly vocals sounding very Mötörhead, particularly on ‘Take Me Home – and everything is, indeed, louder than everything else, amped to the max and close to overload.

It’s not friendly: it’s full-on, fierce, and fucking furious.

Sewer Rats - Mother Acid

Southern Lord – 30th September 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, and Halshug are the band to soundrack everything that’s rotten, bleak and uncomfortable in their native country. From the pleading, agonised screams and tears of a man being tortured, to the last howl of feedback, Sort Sind is a merciless and brutal album. Beneath the deluge of power chords, a mess of overdriven, serrated metal churn, the welter of thunderous, hell-for-leather drumming and dense, chugging bass, there are actual hooks and choruses to be found – but not many, and this statement should not be read that this is by any means a pop album, or that’s it’s accessible or easy going. It really isn’t.

The vocals sound as if they’ve been cloned from Lemmy’s DNA, and this hoarse-throated roar leads the power trio through nine abrasive tracks. The Mötörhead comparison carries into the music, too: like Mötörhead, Halshug (trans. ‘decapitate’) combine punk and metal to create something harder, heavier, faster and more attacking, without resorting to the clichés of either genre.

The album’s title translates as ‘Dark Mind’, and the themes of substance abuse, parental neglect and growing up in deprived areas of Denmark dominate the album. With track names translate to ‘Scum’, ‘Violence’, ‘Defeat’ and ‘Lonesome Death’, it’s a fitting title for an album fuelled by rage and frustration, delivered with an energy that’s pure catharsis.

Recorded live, produced and mixed at Ballade Studios in Copenhagen by Lasse Ballade, who also produced and mixed Blodets Bånd, Sort Sind is bursting with rawness and immediacy the music demands.