Pic Charlee Ramsey
A predator of the senses and the injustices infesting the world today, the hardcore furious sound of The Domestics has grown into one of the most riveting and compelling assaults within the British punk scene since the Suffolk outfit launched itself at apathetic barricades in 2011. Across two albums surrounded by a host of EPs, split releases, and compilation appearances, the band’s fusion of US hardcore, classic UK punk and raw Japanese influences has grabbed attention by the scruff of the neck. It’s ‘victims’ have been confronted with uncompromising lyrical commentary as a primal catchiness infects body and imagination. That being said, everything before has now been overshadowed and taken to a new level by third album Cherry Blossom Life, a release as viciously virulent as it is rapaciously antagonistic.
With The Domestics slimmed down to a quartet since the release of 2014 album Routine & Ritual, the band has equally stripped down their sound to simultaneously bring out and increase its venomous irritability and instinctive contagiousness. Its twenty minutes unleashes 16 tracks to challenge and stir up body and thought; a brief rewarding moment in a day which is proving to be almost as essential as eating and Cherry Blossom Life takes no prisoners from the first breath of opener Dead in the Dirt. The gnarly bass of Rhodes instantly has the appetite licking lips; its dirty grumble wrapped in a lurking sonic twine which blossoms into its own unclean temptation as the band uncages a tide of ravenous riffs ridden by the vocal animus of James Domestic. The senses and emotions are instantly on edge and the body roused as the album gets down to business in fine style.
The following Snuffed Out zooms in like a jet plane, the bolds beats of Simon Battery instinctive incitement as Ted Mint’s guitar spins a savage web around the equally catchy and pugnacious assault of voice and bass. Addictively inhospitable, the track’s imposing triumph is swiftly matched by that of Don’t Tell Me What Love Is, itself also less than a minute of unapologetic scrapping equipped with primal hooks and memorable causticity. The gang vocal bruising of Homegrown Violence proceeds to emulate and eclipse that gripping pair though, its brute force a deceit to skilfully spun hooks and infectious sonic tendrils.
Initially, No Deposit, No Return allows a breath with its prowling entrance, the bass portentously courting the imagination before sparking a swinging canter which in turn bursts into a hellacious dispute of sound and voice. Unpredictable at every turn and adventurous with every twist, discord and animosity a superb combative mix, the song is irresistible before making way for the bare boned poetry of Human Ikizukuri; its visceral touch absorbed by the following sonic and lyrical rancor of Punch in the Guts.
Through the anthemic vendetta of Authentic Arsehole and the unbridled senses harrying tempest of Frustration, album and pleasure make kindred spirits while Guilty as Charged twists and turns with some of the most infectious hooks and inspired antics heard anywhere this year. Maybe its boldness is not pushed far enough, its fifty odd seconds not allowing time for further adventure, but the track leaves an indelible mark on ears and imagination.
Self Abuse scowls and feuds with the listener next, a richly satisfying assault with the creative dexterity of Mint and the feuding prowess of Domestic guiding the inescapable persuasion with Death Trap pushing pleasure to yet another level with its bearish bad blood and predacious stroll. Like a mix of Dead Kennedys, Angelic Upstarts, and Converge, the song simple hits the spot, its tenacious jaws a quick clamp on the passions. Its best track claim is then straight away rivalled by Bullshit Parasite, a bullish, balls swinging anthem impossible not to get physically and emotionally enrolled in.
There is no let up on enjoyment either as the home straight of Cherry Blossom Life is hit; A Poison Too Far a breath-taking ferocious declaration of sound and word harassing the senses and Stalinist Purge a corrosive squall of emotion and sound blustering around another glorious crunchy bassline and the creative agitation of the guitar.
The album finally closes with Happy, a piece of lyrical prose caught in a shaken snow globe of organic sound, and the only following thought is to throw oneself into its clutches straight away again. From word to music, Cherry Blossom Life is UK hardcore and The Domestics at their best, indeed the band at their finest yet.
Cherry Blossom Life is out now through TNS Records and Kangaroo Records; available @ https://tnsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cherry-blossom-life https://www.tnsrecords.co.uk/?product=domestics-cherry-blossom-life and http://www.kibourecords.bigcartel.com/
2017 EURO TOUR DATES:
27/08: T. Chances, London, UK (Fuk Reddin Fest)
28/08: Vrankrijk, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
30/08: Underwerkt, Copenhagen (Denmark)
31/08: Blitz, Oslo (Norway)
01/08: Snövit, Stockholm (Sweden)
02/08: Venue Tbc, Gothenburg (Sweden)
05/08: Köpi, Berlin (Germany)
06/08: Stö, Leipzig (Germany)
07/08: The Pit’s, Kortrijk (Belgium)
Pete RingMaster 08/08/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright