How do you back up debut album which a great many, us included, called a modern punk classic. Well with another equally blistering triumph of course. Easy on paper and in thought but not so simple in deed but that is exactly what UK punksters In Evil Hour have done with new EP Built On Our Backs. The follow-up to the exhilarating roar that is The World Bleeds Out, their new six-track new fury is a furnace of attitude and defiance loaded with lethal hooks and virulent contagion, all honed to incite and inflame ears and thoughts. To put it simply, it is hardcore punk rock at its ferocious best.
Darlington bred, In Evil Hour formed in the summer of 2011 drawing on inspirations from bands such as AFI, Black Flag, Sick of it All, and the Nerve Agents. Very early on the quartet was becoming a potent presence and draw on the live scene, shows with the likes of Leftover Crack, The Misfits, H20, and The Creepshow earning a quick reputation as one exciting onslaught which was further confirmed by their first EP, the Antipop Records released Tell Your God To Ready For Blood of that first year for the band. The World Bleeds Out really awoke attention and fevered appetites with its unleashing in 2013 on STP Records, its release at that year’s Rebellion one of the highlights of the weekend for band and fans.
With a tour alongside the $wingin’ Utters and their own jaunt into Europe and around the UK this August under their 2015 belts, In Evil Hour have provided another rousing and irresistible storm with Built On Our Backs. As you might suspect it is a collection of socially and politically challenging furies immersed in songs which spit fire and boil infection ripe seduction. The EP opens with Progress, which spins immediate bait of alluring guitar before broadening into a full enticement of spicy riffs, sharp hooks, and pungent rhythms. The persuasion is complete with the recognisable snarl of Alice’s voice, attitude and defiance dripping from every syllable as the track whips up an even keener and catchy aggressive stomp. Fair to say the song does not offer something to majorly blow ears and thoughts away, whilst undeniably heavily pleasing body and appetite, but rather provides the perfect base and launch pad for greater adventure to erupt from, which it certainly does with Blood and Majesty.
To be honest the difference to the individual characters of the two tracks is nothing big or particularly definable yet the second song just pushes the right buttons to a more lusty reaction. Its first rumble of riffs and scythe of beats carries a spark suggesting a mighty tempest to come, an explosion of voice, riffs, and barbarous rhythmic enterprise confirming it swiftly after. Melodies and vocals have a toxic edge to them whilst Gareth’s guitar and Gib’s bass just grumble and growl with their particular torrents of caustic endeavour and nature. Throw in scarring swings from drummer Mike and you have one glorious addiction at work.
There is no way anyone could resist getting fully involved with the song, physically and vocally, and the same applies to Ascension. Its first touch is a ‘mellower’ vocal alluring from Alice against a raw riff, though there is that ever present snarl just adding its edge to her tones and being fully exposed across the track as it brews up an intensive and energetic blaze which once fully aflame, provides another surge of irresistibility and senses igniting provocation. That early melodic calmness is never driven away though, seizing the moment in a mouth-watering detour which is just not long enough before the creative raging is back igniting the air.
The bass of Gib leaves a tasty morsel of bait in the third song and again lays down an early bestial lure within the following EP’s title track, an anthem with vocal hooks and temptations galore and antagonistic ingenuity a plenty. It defies the listener not to physically leap on board as it brawls lyrically and musically, a challenge almost as potently thrown out by Bright Lights. At one minute and a large nudge, the track in some ways does not have long enough to establish its own uniquely corruptive web of tempting but still offers a storming slice of creative aggravation and enjoyment to get teeth fully into before Predators brings Built On Our Backs to a might close.
The track is prime In Evil Hour, every existing and newly discovered quality and skill in songwriting and sound within the band uncaged in its melody ripe hardcore and angst driven combat. A battle cry for the twenty first century and daily living, it is superb and the perfect end to an EP emulating its success in a themed journey across the elevation of hope, hard work, and rewards but resulting in exploitation and worse. As ever In Evil Hour play hard, hit hard, and have set free another standard setting fury for modern punk.
Pete RingMaster 03/09/2015
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