At its very best, hardcore can produce some of the most rewarding and exhilarating challenges, and some of the most viciously impacting. The new EP from UK band Still Bust is all that and more, one of the genre’s most riveting and emotionally searing releases this year. Veining their sound with irresistible discord drenched tendrils of noise and math rock, the Gloucester band is one offering something different as evidenced by the excellent 77 For You (57 For Me).
The successor to debut album A Few Things We Might Agree On (A Few Things We Might Not) of 2013, the quartet of Matthew Stanley, Ed Hudson, Matt Raybould, and Niall Jones, swiftly scar and grip ears and attention with their new proposition. The EPs title refers to diabetes of vocalist/guitarist Matty, 77 being the average life expectancy for someone without diabetes compared with 57 for someone who does. The encounter though has no sense of self-pity, instead raging and pushing thoughts and emotions of listeners to challenge their own issues and to deal with them. It also has titles which catch the imagination and raise the first step of anticipation before a note is even heard.
First up is It’s Your Fault And You’re Stupid (Kind Regards Barbaros Icoglu), which straight away entangles ears and appetite with its opening web of sonic temptation and magnetic unpredictability. Guitars score and tease with their discord bred ideation, like fireworks leaving a pungent taste on the senses which lure you in for the oncoming punk fury which subsequently bursts free. Its bait is no less intrusive and compelling, the varied and multiple vocal attack as enterprising as the rhythmic antagonism and aggressive riffery around it. With the technical ideation and craft of the band continuing to vein the angst driven roar, the track emerges like a mix of Cancer Bats, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and UK punk band Dead Retinas with elements of Every Time I Die, and is insatiably riveting.
TV On After Breakfast (Would You Like Your Hair Cut Today) comes next and swiftly unleashes its hostile punk breeding as riffs and vocals rage contagiously whilst rhythms beat out a bruise on the senses with every rally. Within the brawl though, the band uncages another dose of warped and technically twisted ideation which helps to turn a great song into a rigorously impressing one. The bass reveals a deeper throated intimidation to its creative armoury whilst the guitars continue to sculpt a net of seduction and malice which is inescapable, not that you will wish too. Its successor I’ve Never Been More Happy To Have A Hypo (However This Could Mean I Have Irreparable Knee Damage) is built from a similar template though with a unique character and tempest of sound of its own. There is a darker threat and intensity which has little difficulty in riling up hunger and passion for track and release. The song is not alone on the EP in providing a false end either, the encounter taking a breath to return with an even more potent and greed sparking design of enterprise and temptation.
The closing Twenty Foot (Broken Foot) is a test which goes from delicious seducing to raw testing hostility, entwining both across its length whilst providing an epic and enthralling close to the EP. Addiction breeding grooves erupt straight away from within the song, seducing ears and imagination with their insatiable and inventive toxicity. Heavy rhythmic jabs and furious riffs add their taunts soon after too before the raw vocals squall aggressively across the whole mix. Such the impressive start, it loses some of its grip with the following expanse of impassioned anger and slow predation but in time employs its lustful and irresistible endeavours once again within the tempestuous climate and emotion of the track to reignite ears and passions.
It is a striking end to an invigorating and wonderfully abusive release which suggests the potential of Still Bust, as outstanding a release it has just created, still has plenty more to explore and reveal. We can hardly wait.
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