Less than twelve minutes in length yet thirteen songs in content, Selfish Act 1 from Irish hardcore punk band Only Fumes & Corpses is definitely not a blink and you miss release. It is an abrasive and cutting assault of violent energy and brutal intensity which no one could possibly ignore. The songs charge and bristle with an uncompromising intent and destructive nature brought through challenging punk rock at its most caustic.
From Galway, the band formed in 2005 and become renowned as one of the hardest working and determined hardcore bands in Ireland. They have toured relentlessly throughout Europe as well as their homeland, sharing stages with the likes of Sick Of It All, Glassjaw, Bane, Comeback Kid, Capdown, Set Your Goals, Sonic Boon Six, Agnostic Front, and No Trigger, continually garnering acclaim along the way. Their releases similarly have made strong impressions; their self released four track demo, the eight song Read What Is In Between EP, and debut album Who Really Cares, What Really Lasts on Lockjaw Records, marking the band as one to firmly watch. With a new line-up, the quintet has released the first of two EPs in the shape of Selfish Act 1, again through Lockjaw, to surely ignite a mightier horizon for the band.
The title track distorts the air first, the blistering instrumental a scouring breath upon the ear with a restrained energy which sets things up powerfully for the impending rush of violence. The following Blinded screams at the senses in vocal and sonic breath, whilst within its 30 second fury it pulls an anthemic lure out of its brusque heart.
Tracks like Lost Generation with its squalling vocals and scything guitar sonics continue to ignite the senses whilst other rages such as the initially prowling Towers Fall with its defiant breath and the raging Won’t Come Back enflame the passions with their swift yet potent spite and intent.
The epic Full Circle, well at a minute and a half and compared to other songs feels like a giant piece of adrenaline fired animosity, is a ferocious pummelling from rhythms and churning riffs. The gang shouts combine with the vocals to agitate the senses further whilst the track as a whole is a wall of challenging and emotive energy. As this track confirms, each song despite their brief life always feel complete and even when there are moments where you wish there was a longer presence the tracks are rounded and wholly effective in their mission and success.
Further standout tracks include Smile Forever, the explosive We Were Heroes, and the captivating two parts of The Lush, arguably where the band explore their songwriting and individual abilities the most openly.
Selfish Act 1 is an excellent riot of hardcore punk brought with skill, expression, and most of all passion. It offers all the destructive antagonism and will you could require in a release whilst giving it individuality to set Only Fumes & Corpses apart from most other similarly driven bands. Angst has never been so slight yet so impactful.
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