Oiltanker: The Shadow of Greed LP/Crusades 7”

As brutal as an acid bath and as incendiary George Galloway at a Women Against Rape meeting, the re-release of The Shadow of Greed from d-beat punk band Oiltanker is an abrasion of unavoidable pleasure and senses stripping intrusion. With the Crusades 7” by its side and both originally vinyl only releases, the package is now released through Southern Lord as a limited CD, the first ever in that format from the band.   It is not for the faint hearted, its assault caustic in the extreme and unforgiving but it is also proof that the genre they violate is alive and well.

The release does not offer anything new in the direction of the genre admittedly but certainly makes for an important entrant and treat for those who missed its previous presence. It is raw and merciless, a thirty minute sonic enema for the senses and ears across sixteen songs to leave one grasping for support whilst fully satisfied. With a production to match and enhance the venomous and destructive breath of the songs, the release is a sonic bloodbath to endure and embrace.

The Hartford, Connecticut quartet riles up the senses immediately with opener Last Words and are unrelenting until the closing festering onslaught of Plague. The first song opens with a regular punk intro before exploding into a hardcore confrontation and numbing d-beat scrambling. The vocals are rasping and scraping whilst the lyrics border on indecipherable but brought with a force which tells all. The track sets the tone for the whole album and instantly warns you that if you are looking for finesse or intricate invention than move on, quickly.

The likes of Coma with its swamping intensity and fiery sonic flare up and the excellent Who’s In Control, raise the initial heat and bar which the album subsequently wavers around but never drops far below throughout.  The latter of the pair is a combative flesh stripper brought with skill and addiction seeding grooves. It is impossible not to talk of every song in regards of its strength and intense violation but beneath the squalling tempest there is some hypnotic enterprise going on to keep things fresh.

Throughout the drums and rhythms grab the attention more often than not from other elements of the songs due to the production and their impressive craft but it does not detract from the tracks, which at times is remarkable such their stature within songs. Further major highlights come with the likes of Suffer, Consume And Grow, and Ruins, though it is fair to say not one track is anything less than very satisfying. The first of the trio is a brawling face hugger bruising with every note whilst the middle one of the trio is an immediate mental sonic fisting from its opening which one never truly recovers from or wants to.

The sonic piercing to open tracks is a frequent infectious poison on latter songs with the striking Gutted and previously mentioned Ruins leaving their deep rooted scars impressively. Like a throbbing toothache they linger and overwhelm with insidious breath but only leave pleasure in their wake.

Any hardcore/d-beat fans not yet having had the pleasure of being abused by Oiltanker than this is a release not to miss, but as said it is limited so no time to linger and make a decision, just get it.


RingMaster 03/09/2012

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