Bailer – Shaped By The Landscape

BAILER_RingMasterReview

There is a new bruiser in town, a creative bully as at ease turning the senses and ears to mush as it is breeding a dervish like reactions in the body. That uncompromising assailant is Irish quartet Bailer and its choice of irresistible weapon, debut EP, Shaped By The Landscape. The band’s striking introduction is a fiercely irritable groove fest of demands and rewards; a caustic fusion of groove metal and hardcore which leaves body and soul wasted and spirit and emotions ignited.

Formed in the January of 2015, Bailer has been a welcome scourge through its local and Irish underground scene, sharing stages with the likes of Red Enemy, Novelists, The Colour Line, Shields and more as well as playing main support to Murdock on tour. Aidan Cunningham from that fellow Irish band recorded, mixed, and mastered the Shaped By The Landscape, and fair to say if describing the distinct Bailer sound, Murdock would be used as a kind of reference as well as maybe Gacys Threads and The Dillinger Escape Plan. There is no escaping the sonic and vocal, let alone emotional, animosity fuelling and shaping the band’s first poke at the broadest attention, or that it is one of the most punishingly thrilling debuts in the hardcore scene for quite a while.

Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens with Failsafe and immediately has ears enticed with its spicy guitar coaxing and then under siege by a wall of hungry riffs and barbarous rhythms. It is all conducted by the ferocious tones of vocalist Alex O’Leary, his searing squalls almost visibly scarring his throat as they enjoyably abrase ears. There is equally a swing to his delivery, a devilish catchiness which is even stronger in the web of fiery grooves that entangle ears and appetite amidst the rampant aggression of Paul Cashman’s rhythmic swings. The carnivorous growl of David Cleere’s bass is simply delicious in the mix as too the wonderfully nagging tapestry of metal and punk grooves and riffs cast by guitarist Chris Harte. The track is a glorious start to the release, and maybe the most virulently infectious slab of abuse heard in a long time.

It is not a one off though, being swiftly matched by The Binding. It starts off in the same vein as its predecessor but soon reveals its own nefarious twists and turns as O’Leary again shares rancor with the air. Everything about the song is also ridiculously catchy; the body and imagination is soon caught up in its hostile groove almost unaware of being battered and bruised, sonically and emotionally tossed around. Its sensational onslaught is followed by Anti-Venom and its own animus of spite and infectiousness. Grooves squirm with the tempest of noise and irritability, the snarling lure of the bass as seductive as ever whilst vocals rage and almost gloat over the victim, in the shape of the senses, crippled by the rhythmic battering alone. Not that the listener realises when being manipulated by an infestation of grooves and stirring hooks shared with similar zeal and power.

The Benefit Of Doubt is an even darker and more predatory proposal; venom toning every rhythmic strike and scything flash of guitar while all the time the bass adds a grouchy nag linking it all up. Maybe the least openly catchy song on the EP, though not by much, the track is as bold and majestic in craft and invention as it is in highly persuasive animosity. It is a formidable and stirring end to what is simply a killer and monumental debut from Bailer.

The CD version of Shaped By The Landscape actually comes with bonus tracks Call Of The Unknown and Animosity, and the cause of the only issue with the release; the fact that we were not sent those songs to cover too, though it is easy to assume they will live up to the other quartet. Already we are greedy for the Bailer incitement and it is hard to imagine we will be on our own once it is out there playing havoc with ears and the passions.

The self-released Shaped By The Landscape EP is released 29th April digitally and on CD @ https://bailerofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bailerofficial/

Pete RingMaster 27/04/2016

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