pic by Helen Templeton Photography
A snarling insatiably commanding beast of a release, The World Bleeds Out the debut album from UK punks In Evil Hour is a sensational blistering of senses and thoughts from a band who know how to craft virulently contagious and potently provocative songs. A blaze of essential fresh punk rock with a lyrical bite which takes no prisoners within incisive swipes upon politics, society, and the apathy and ignorance that pervades modern culture, the ten track release leaves a fully exposed and hunger driven passion in its wake, whilst In Evil Hour steps forward as another irresistible voice declaring that UK punk rock is again leading the world.
Formed in 2003, the quartet from Darlington takes seeds out of inspirations from the likes of AFI, Amen, Black Flag, The Stooges, Bad Brains, NOFX, Bad Religion, Sick of it All, and Rise Against to name a few, into their own flavoursome hardcore punk. It is a sound which is not unafraid to load itself with infection soaked hooks and riffs but as an additive to tempt rather than undermine the sinew lined directly evocative heavy punk attack they conjure. Released through STP Records, The World Bleeds Out is a savage yet anthemic confrontation which allows hope and temptation to be as rife and alluring as the aggressive and spiteful creative toxicity which stirs up and incites the imagination.
Opener Divide And Conquer stands eye to eye with the listener as the rasping growl of Alice confronts the ears skirted by crisp and antagonistic rhythms and swiping raw riffs. The track is soon charging for the jugular of the senses with rabid beats from Mike whipping the song on whilst bassist Mark and guitarist Gareth create a vitriolic and persuasive mesh of caustic might. With anthemic vocals in league with an equally demanding instigator in the chorus, the song is an outstanding and powerful entrance into the album.
Far From Home takes up the fury next with a splattering of rebellious beats sparking the rest of the song into an initial rage against the senses. It is a great start but one which is left behind once the song settles into an incisive stomp of rumbling rhythms ridden by the continuing to impress, with greater strength as each song steps forward, vocals of Alice. There is a Wendy O Williams essence to her delivery which only enhances the lyrical expression and song attack overall, something which the music seems to understand and find inspiration from, this track gaining ever increasing intensity and rapaciousness with every syllable expelled with brawling strength.
Both As Seas Rise and Where You’re Left continue the immense presence of the album if not quite to the earlier heights set, the first creating a sonic scrap with the ear in which there is only one winner, especially with the deliciously catchy swing and barbed melodic enticement through the guitar skills and vocal harmonies and calls. Its successor is a scorching flame of guitar scalding and rhythmic bashing again steered impressively and skilfully by the vocals singular and as a riotous union.
The lethal swipe of animosity that is Little Death is a fifty five second storm of magnetic viciousness, a hardcore blitz which thrills from its first uncompromising breath through to its last. It moves over for the mutually outstanding Help Me Out, an acidic spiral of heavy rock guitar teasing and taunting whilst the rest of the band adds their particular predacious craft and incendiary invention. A bruising rock n’ roll rampage which leaves the passions aflame with greedy appetite it provides one more stunning moment amongst a great many on the release.
The instantly compelling bass lure to The Terminal brings in another exceedingly agreeable altercation, the band arguably more restrained in its proposition though no less direct and imposing lyrically and in presentation. The bass continues to steal the show on the track, its finest and most potent moment on the album where at times it feels like it is given a back seat place in the production, whilst as now expected Alice draws attention with her striking presence which to be fair often puts most other aspects in the shade.
The excellent title track grazes up the senses and passions with its own individual exciting and imaginative spat whilst the brilliant I Lost Years, where bass and guitar find another plateau to tease a new rapture out with their impossibly addictive rough charms. A Dead Kennedys like hook steers the passions whilst the surrounding body of the song is a mix of Angelic Upstarts/UK Subs and Penetration/AFI. It is a terrific creative and raucous adventure cementing the depth and quality of band and album.
With Murder Murder closing up The World Bleeds Out with one final tempest of contagion drenched excellence, a blend of Bad Religion and The Duel coming to mind as it steals another wave of ardour from the emotions, In Evil Hour emerge as one of the most impressive emerging forces in punk rock, and not just in the UK. A classic album from an extremely impressive band, not much left to say.
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