Rampaging and snarling with a potency and aggressive attack which recalls the richest essences of the likes of Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Municipal Waste, and S.O.D., US antagonisers Birth AD and their debut album I Blame You, is one riot to be in on at the earliest opportunity. Fusing hardcore, thrash, and the angry heart of punk, band and release unleash ferocity of attitude and sound which simply riles and ignites the senses in a welcome storm of destructive might. Part nostalgic, recalling the eighties pinnacle of their seeded inspirations, but forged with fresh 21st century spite, the trio from Austin, Texas is an exhausting and fully invigorating confrontation and their album an equally thrilling adversary.
Formed in 2008, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Jeff Tandy, guitarist/backing vocals Brian Morrison, and drummer/backing vocals Mark Perry, took no time in becoming a bludgeoning and potent force across their home state, firing up a loyal and ever growing fan base. The following year saw an eleven-date tour of Japan as the band’s inaugural live outing as well as debut EP Stillbirth of a Nation, the release making an indelible mark on not only the local scene but further afield, which the new Alex Perialas produced album will only brand into the skin of punk and metal even deeper. Released via Unspeakable Axe Records, an offshoot of Dark Descent Records, I Blame You is a honed and instinctive furnace of passion and anger carved into mutually malicious and senses searing sound.
The eighteen track explosion gives no respite from start to finish, the flesh charring intensity of opener Mission Statement with its uncomplicated and forceful declaration starting the furnace of virulent sonic and emotive antagonism which holds its potency and strength right through to the equally barbed and lethally aggressive closer Blow Up The Embassy. In between there is no let-up but within the tempest of corrosive and barbarous fire there is as much diversity and violating enterprise as you could wish from a crossover thrash cluster bomb of violent energy and intent.
In nothing but highlights, maybe something of a surprise in an album of such a large number of tracks, the biggest peaks will focus the review but those not mentioned are only just behind personal preferences and as worthy as any other on the outstanding release. The brawling Failed State seizes the ear with a hurricane of vocal dispute with a repetitive barracking of the senses but it is the niggling grinding groove which steals the event, its insidious presence driving the force and brutality of the rhythms like a sadistic snake charmer. The track is the start of an especially impressive part of the album with its immediate successors Bring Back The Draft and This Scene Sucks also raising the fiercest fires within. The first of the pair consumes with a ravenous appetite and sonic hunger with samples of battlefields adding their energy to the controlling rhythms and scarring riffs, whilst the second taunts with a throaty bestial bass sound before expanding into a predatory and urgent assault with the vocals, singular and en masse, carving their own venomous and anthemic hooks into the irresistible presence.
Tracks like No, Man with its Dead Kennedys like hooked contagion and the title track continue the exhaustive but impossibly addictive lure of the release, the latter of the two barracking the ear vocally whilst a tight thrash lashing smarts but excites, probably more than is legally allowed, around them whilst the excellent Kill Everybody is as savage and uncompromising as the title suggests, the chorus especially a vicious assault to spark the strongest ardour.
Tracks like Wrong Again, No Jobs (Don’t Work), and Cause Problems, though failing to quite ignite the passions as those above, still leave nothing but a full on greed for more and the deepest satisfaction, something which honestly applies to every track on the release. Ok I Blame You is not breaking down new barriers for thrash, punk, or metal, but that is not the point of its existence, the band and album using existing armoury but tuning it with their own precise tools into a striking force which stands aside from most of the other similarly gaited aggressors. A mention for the excellent Parasites Die must be made, the song the emerging favourite here with its prowling groove and teasing stance coring an aural dogfight between sound and ear, of course there is only one winner.
If the likes of the bands mentioned at the top of the review are for you then open your arms for one exceptional collision with Birth A.D.
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