If fans of Concrete Lung thought their uncompromising sound could not get any more corrosive and emotionally destructive then new EP Tolerance & Dependency is going to leave them shell-shocked and blissful. The six track provocation is a scourge of sonic voracity and imaginative violation, the duo of Ed Oxime (vocals/guitars) and William Riever (bass) finding new imagination and despair in their creativity and music to explore. As ever a Concrete Lung encounter is not for the faint hearted but for a tempest of industrial grindcore and death metal veined hardcore, it is pure ruinous manna.
Since signing with independent label Armalyte Records in 2010, a year also seeing the Manchester, UK hailing band’s debut EP Waste Of Flesh, Concrete Lung swiftly garnered critical and fan acclaim with their Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and early Pitchshifter inspired provocation. Live too the band only impressed and ignited the passions, the sharing of stages with the likes of The Young Gods, Funker Vogt, Leæther Strip, Grendel, Agonoize, and Front Line Assembly gracing their first few years. First album Versions Of Hell in 2011 reinforced and accelerated the band’s emerging presence whilst the Die Dreaming single the following year, and the Subtract Nerve in 2013 put the band under a fiercer spotlight and into the nightmares of an increasing fan base. As suggested, Tolerance & Dependency is the band corrupting another level in their sound and extreme aural hostilities generally, a continuation of its predecessor in theme and intent but reaching into the darkest corners of their rage, animosity, and merciless creativity.
Though both its members are now located wide apart, Australia and Sweden to be exact, Concrete Lung feel even more bonded and vindictive in sound and emotional rancor, opener Engine Vein swiftly stirring up ears and attention with its initial sonic lure and lead into a heavy handed prowl of ravenous yet seductive enterprise amidst predatory rhythms. The first impacting move in evidence is the live drums on the song and release which replace their until now ever present drum machine. It gives the track a spite and intensity, which was never lacking in the band’s sound previously, more bite and bad blooded ferocity. Soon the prowl slips into a just as menacing stroll, beats and riffs as imposing as ever and Oxime’s vocals raw and compelling venom. As it plays with its assault and expels a horde of inescapable hooks, the track has ears ringing and psyche cowering, its black heart exuding pained expression and emotion.
It is a pungent and striking start but just the appetiser for the dual brilliance of Die Dreaming Pt. II and Chemical Muzzle. The first crawls over the senses with an opening guitar snarl and a scuzzy bassline which has a flavour of early Wire to its very dirty temptation, the first of a torrent of baits band and track ensnare the passions with. The death seeded scourge of the Concrete Lung sound has the main voice as the song smothers and oppresses thoughts and senses, yet a nagging groove and barbarous baiting equally ignites lustful hunger for the infestation of sonic and impassioned malevolence. It is a brute of a proposition, primal and insatiable, as well as simple addiction, whilst its successor from a similar canvas of intent and maliciousness casts its own distinctive violation. It is arguably the track with the thickest toxin of punk to it, vocals and bass bruising the senses with a wall of intimidation from its first breath but with a contagiousness which only has the listener embracing it with willing submission, the track is a rabid seducing of jaundiced tempting.
Self-Shriek (Self Murder) with its sonic and emotional detestation keep thoughts and feelings ruffled and engrossed. The crawling demonic tone of the vocals play with post punk shadows and doom soaked ambience within a unrelenting suffocation of sound and intensity. It is a riveting, hypnotic drama and trespass of the senses as well as further thick evidence of the band’s bold exploration of themselves and sound. Its erosive smog seeps into the portentous and cavernous depths of the following Plastic Mind too, but rapidly immersed into an industrial swamp of abrasing enterprise. As the last, the exceptional track is a slow smother of ears and beyond, its serpentine breath and sonic acidity a hope swallowing animus creeping note by note, syllable by syllable.
Tolerance & Dependency is brought to a close by Closed Mouth, a track with the kind of infectious simplicity which historically has bred nursery rhythms at the heart of another unstoppable oncoming of an emotionally loathing and aurally consumptive wave. The track is quite simply an unavoidable intrusive seduction for those with a penchant for cruel invention.
Concrete Lung leaves every emotion ransacked and sound twisted upon their new violation, their most potent and violently compelling triumph yet. They just get better and nastier with each release, which after this makes the next equally as appetising and fearsome.
Tolerance & Dependency is released via Armalyte Industries @ 12am UK time Sunday 30th November and will be exclusive at http://concretelung.bandcamp.com/
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