The most intimidating and thrilling cauldrons of hostility are those which spit and burn even before you get dirty and scorched within their blistering ferocity, and so it is with Basic Human Error, the debut album from UK noise violators William English. It is a release which singes flesh from ears and boils the senses from its first breath alone, only impacting and thrilling with harsher and richer intensity once you actually delve into the depths of the seven ravishments. The Norfolk quintet lit a fuse in the passions with their first single from the album Bud Vessel a couple of months ago, but hindsight shows its triumph barely scratched the surface of the wonderfully hellacious Basic Human Error
The William English sound is a prowling rabidity of doom enriched, tar thick sludge which is just as open and voracious with heavy strains of hardcore, noise, and dark metal. It makes for a menacing and uncompromising proposition yet one with an array of virulent toxic grooves and rapier like rhythms aligned to slithers of invention embroiled in anything from punk to noise to post punk. It is an invigorating and punishingly exhausting consumption of body and psyche, which only gets fiercer and more scintillating with every listen.
It is Bud Vessel which lights the touch paper to the album, its two minutes plus of vicious addictiveness an instant onslaught of barbed hooks and spicy grooves encased in fuzz soaked, snarling causticity. With mercilessly stabbing beats from drummer Joe Woodbury in the driver’s seat, the track careers through ears with the squalling hardcore tones of vocalist Shane Miller an acidic burn in the hostile and contagious smog of the song. Stoner seeded grooves spring their bait throughout too, everything colluding to ignite ears and emotions in a blaze of cancerous temptation.
The opener is as much a punk roar as anything else and quickly contrasted yet emulated in many ways by Life Of A Fisherman. The song is a slowly invading protagonist, a crawling and persistently expanding threat initially which once settled kicks up a gear and unveils a masterful swagger rich with ravenous and inviting grooves around a volatile nest of barbarous rhythms. Spilling sonic ire and addictive lures with every passing minute of the track’s weighty length, guitarists Ryan Carter and Dave Vickers sear and ignite the senses and imagination respectively, their hostile invention, as across the whole band, forceful and riveting whether slowly trespassing through or raging with tsunami effect at the listener.
The epic assault finally makes way for a just as intensive examination from Seaweed, a track venomously lapping ears with steady persistence, and as the last, creating moments of sheer violence. The bass of Callum Gibb is a predatory stalker within the crushing weight and intensity of the song whilst vocally Miller uncages his full punk spite and expression, especially devouring the air with an effect covered might when the song slips into a cavernous, post punk spiced, doom soaked passage of insidious calm. The torrent of rugged riffs and rhythms provide a constantly evolving and nagging proposal but as other aspects around them are regularly unafraid to switch gait and hostility as the ever gripping drama of the grooves persist in their addictive tenacity.
Captain Tugboat unleashes its own distinct violation next, bringing extra tang and ingenious unpredictability to a fury of hooks and toxic grooves in a presence which embroils torment and rage in one corrosive and once again irresistible animus of sound and emotion. As the album, at times the track sparks thoughts of bands like Eyehategod and Buzzov*en but equally of others like Coilguns, KEN mode, and Neurosis; raw whiffs just as suggestive in the following Grandpa Sorrow Pt. 1, another taking such elements and sculpting them into something solitary and predacious to William English. The track stalks the senses with a laboured but hungry intent from start to finish, eventually dissipating for A Monger to cast its individual sonic coaxing and bracing creative hostility. There is no escaping its slow encroachment and the subsequent raptorial explosions breeding mouth-watering savagery, nor the spellbinding effect of its unbridled barbarity in tone and sonic enterprise. Bass and the song’s truculent atmosphere provide a bestial embrace, the vocals an ever shifting in delivery and belligerence throughout whilst the guitars emerge carnivorous in invention and enthralling in craft for another viscous treat.
The album closes with the eleven minute sonic opus of Grandpa Sorrow Pt. 2, a full journey in its own right exploring every flavour and inventive corner within the William English invention, ability, and sound. It is as dramatically appealing and darkly ruinous as the world we live in, every passing second and twist a creative cacophony of raw seduction and jaundiced attitude shaped by fearsome tapestries of viscid sludge spawned ingenuity.
The track is a tremendous end to a thrilling first album from William English. Basic Human Error is sure to be an encounter seeing many fleeing for the hills in fear but similarly one to breed plenty of lustful hunger and stalker like attention for its creators. We are the latter and suspect we will be heftily joined in that club over the coming weeks.
Basic Human Error is available now via Grandad Records @ https://williamenglishband.bandcamp.com/