Only Fumes & Corpses -Selfish Act II

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Like going from one extreme to another, Irish hardcore punks Only Fumes & Corpses have released the second part of their two-sided attack Selfish Act.  Whereas Act I, or side one of a proposed physical release, rampaged over the senses and passions through thirteen songs barely touching twelve minutes in accumulative length, the B-side to the ‘album’ consists of one mountainous track lasting around seventeen minutes. Selfish Act II is a towering release which easily defies the temptation to avoid its massive presence by enthralling and seducing the ear and senses with a riveting expanse of invention and imagination. As caustic and raging as one would suspect after its predecessor, the track induces a captivated and thrilled participate in its charge and an exhausted but deeply satisfied admirer in its wake after expelling its final ounce of ferocity.

The Galway quintet formed in 2005 and took no time in earning a reputation as one of the hardest working and determined hardcore bands in Ireland. The years have seen the band scorching stages and audiences alongside the likes of Sick Of It All, Glassjaw, Agnostic Front, Set Your Goals, Sonic Boon Six and many more. Releases from their self-released four track demo through to the Read What Is In Between EP and debut album Who Really Cares, What Really Lasts also brought strong acclaim upon the band no more so than with last EP Selfish Act 1. The new release, classed as an EP too, continues their impressive presence to date but equally takes the band and sound to another pinnacle.

Released via Lockjaw Records, the track opens with a sonic burn of sound with further guitar teasing opening up within to brew an Only Fumes & Corpses - Selfish Act II - Artemerging web of melodic and acidic air upon the ear, the vocals of Momme caustically caressing within the nurtured embrace. It is a slow and deliberate wrapping around the senses whilst intensity is bred and caged within the rhythms and bass lure. With energy in hand it builds into a crescendo which explodes again into a riotous stretch of hardcore urgency and aggression. With a contagious temptation in tow to the punk viciousness, the track easily recruits thoughts and emotions, even if more so musically than lyrically certainly across the whole of the song.

Group shouts and the lone corrosive venom unleashed drive a spiked flame of spite through the core of the song to elevate its potency but it is the adventure and enterprise of the music which captivates most.  Seven plus minutes in and a folk metal like swagger breaks out to add a smile to the fire whilst the energy and pace of the song settles into a less demanding but fully magnetic invitation which then leads into another scintillating metallic temptation with the bass finding extra depths to its throat and the riffs grinding another level into the passions. Superbly crafted melodic near progressive enterprise takes its turn to push the narrative further before again more fluent ideas run along a blade of hard and metalcore like fascination.

Through to its end the track shifts and evolves, never leaving a moment devoid of imagination or excitement and making what seems on paper is an excessive tide of time feel like a passing blink. Selfish Act II is exceptional, the finest thing Only Fumes & Corpses has achieved whilst pushing the bar for British and European hardcore up a few more notches.

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9/10

RingMaster 05/06/2013

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Only Fumes & Corpses – Selfish Act 1

Less than twelve minutes in length yet thirteen songs in content, Selfish Act 1 from Irish hardcore punk band Only Fumes & Corpses is definitely not a blink and you miss release. It is an abrasive and cutting assault of violent energy and brutal intensity which no one could possibly ignore. The songs charge and bristle with an uncompromising intent and destructive nature brought through challenging punk rock at its most caustic.

From Galway, the band formed in 2005 and become renowned as one of the hardest working and determined hardcore bands in Ireland. They have toured relentlessly throughout Europe as well as their homeland, sharing stages with the likes of Sick Of It All, Glassjaw, Bane, Comeback Kid, Capdown, Set Your Goals, Sonic Boon Six, Agnostic Front, and No Trigger, continually garnering acclaim along the way. Their releases similarly have made strong impressions; their self released four track demo, the eight song Read What Is In Between EP, and debut album Who Really Cares, What Really Lasts on Lockjaw Records, marking the band as one to firmly watch. With a new line-up, the quintet has released the first of two EPs in the shape of Selfish Act 1, again through Lockjaw, to surely ignite a mightier horizon for the band.

The title track distorts the air first, the blistering instrumental a scouring breath upon the ear with a restrained energy which sets things up powerfully for the impending rush of violence. The following Blinded screams at the senses in vocal and sonic breath, whilst within its 30 second fury it pulls an anthemic lure out of its brusque heart.

Tracks like Lost Generation with its squalling vocals and scything guitar sonics continue to ignite the senses whilst other rages such as the initially prowling Towers Fall with its defiant breath and the raging Won’t Come Back enflame the passions with their swift yet potent spite and intent.

The epic Full Circle, well at a minute and a half and compared to other songs feels like a giant piece of adrenaline fired animosity, is a ferocious pummelling from rhythms and churning riffs. The gang shouts combine with the vocals to agitate the senses further whilst the track as a whole is a wall of challenging and emotive energy. As this track confirms, each song despite their brief life always feel complete and even when there are moments where you wish there was a longer presence the tracks are rounded and wholly effective in their mission and success.

Further standout tracks include Smile Forever, the explosive We Were Heroes, and the captivating two parts of The Lush, arguably where the band explore their songwriting and individual abilities the most openly.

Selfish Act 1 is an excellent riot of hardcore punk brought with skill, expression, and most of all passion. It offers all the destructive antagonism and will you could require in a release whilst giving it individuality to set Only Fumes & Corpses apart from most other similarly driven bands. Angst has never been so slight yet so impactful.

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RingMaster 08/10/2012

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