Whether they call themselves Fight Amp or Fight Amputation, Philadelphia’s keg of noise rock ferocity have returned with a blistering roar of an album in the shape of Constantly Off. Imposing and at times bordering on carnivorous, the release is the band’s first new recordings in over three years and their heaviest most virulently cantankerous offering yet.
Once more the trio pour grunge tenacity, sludge oppressiveness, and punk predation into their creative vat for the album, twisting and honing it into a tempest of irresistible and rousing noise rock. Equally though Fight Amp has cultivated their most infectious and seductive melodic tempting too. It has resulted in songs which rhythmically stalk, sonically abrase, and melodically romance the senses whilst creating an infestation which as suggested earlier sees the band at a new plateau of invention and sound. Think early Melvins and Torche meets KEN mode with rigorous incitement from the likes of Nirvana, Black Flag, and Dope Body, then think of that being something original again, and you have the addictive might of the Steve Poponi (American Heritage, Ladder Devils) recorded Constantly Off.
Ex Everything sets things in contagious motion, the opener stepping forward in a breeze of portentously predacious sound with the guitar of Mike McGinnis creating sonic smog. A whisper of a relaxation follows before rugged bass and guitar riffs collude with punchy beats in casting a more intensive examination of ears. The vocals of McGinnis and bassist Jon DeHart, whilst being just as imposing, offer a more harmonic temper to the heavy weight of the song, simultaneously sculpting prowling grooves through their individual string craft as hostile as they are magnetic. It is a beast of an encounter, a flirtatious predator which shares its traits with the following Survival Is Strange.
The second song is a much more lively and volatile proposal from its first breath. The guitar spins a web of scathing riffs and enticing grooves around vocals which again come with an infectious swing and raw attitude. The contagious essence of the song is emulated just as resourcefully, amidst the resonating lures of bass, in the swinging sticks of drummer Dan Smith too. The encounter is noise addiction for ears and appetite matched quickly after by Leveling In A Dream. Its initial bluesy coaxing is liquor to the senses, a minute plus of suggestive toxicity which eventually spawns a rhythmic and vocal stroll of forthright attitude. Subsequently a reserved but antagonistic wind of sound with rhythmic punches fill ears, the closing minute of the track a bracing bellow which still never catches fire but smoulders perfectly for potent success.
Smith with his rhythmic and rapacious enterprise sets You Don’t Wanna Live Forever rolling next, his jabs increasing in pace and virulence until guitar and bass cannot hold back any longer and jump in with dirty riffs and boozy grooves, which are matched in turn by the raw and catchy variety of the vocals. Agitation and discord add to the captivating revelry, the song a perpetual eruption of off kilter tenacity and bouncing energy, not forgetting ingenuity.
Contrasting the leaping persuasion of its predecessor, I Perceive Reptoids employs another threatening prowl in its proposal. It comes with a post punk shadowing, a solemn toning which continues to cloud the corrosive expulsions of vocal and sonic ire aligned to another riveting and intrusive rhythmic enticement. Once more the song is an incitement bred from colluding contrasts and opposing textures, and again ears and imagination are twisted into subservience.
Final track Happy Joyful Life brings a last tempest to devour greedily. The bass of DeHart is almost bestial in its voice and addictively savage basslines, the beats of Smith rapier like, whilst McGinnis’ guitar breeds a maelstrom of senses tearing hooks and toxic grooves. Together it is a tempestuous and ridiculously infectious affair driven by scowling vocals and just outstanding.
The track makes an absorbing end to an incendiary release on ears and emotions, Constantly Off brewing its own terrain of noise rock which explores all the essences making up its DNA with such imagination that it ensures its appeal will go far beyond one or two specific genres. Quite simply Fight Amp creates irresistible noisy rock ‘n’ roll and in their new offering one of the real treats of 2015.
Constantly Off is available now via Brutal Panda Records digitally and on vinyl @ http://www.brutalpandarecords.com/products/fight-amp-constantly-off-12 or https://fightamp.bandcamp.com/