If there is brawl you really want to be at the heart of, it is Toss a Coin the new album from Swiss hardcore outfit Insanity. It brings eleven insatiable confrontations to the ear; a clutch of spirit raising, defiance driven roars which refuse to take not today sir for an answer.
With a sound bred in the New York hardcore scene at its height, Insanity has sonically bullied and physically roared their way to a potent reputation and presence within the European punk scene over the past five years, one now sure to be re-ignited again by Toss a Coin. Since emerging, the Lucerne quintet has surged from their homeland across Europe into international waters, sharing stages with the likes of Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Madball, Sick Of It All, Terror and many more along the way as well as headlining their own successful tours. Their debut album, No Limit, set down a certain marker in their ascent, its well-received presence matched by that in success by the Ready To Row EP. Released through Bastardized Recordings is a new powerful statement from the band, in sound and political/social quarrel as well as simply rousing punk ‘n’ roll.
With gang shouts, body manipulating grooves, and addiction forging hooks as prevalent as raw antagonism and instinctive antipathy to the world’s ills, Toss a Coin snarls and harasses from its initial second and opening breath of first up No Tolerance For Intolerance. The gnarly tone of Pery Zemp’s bass instantly has ears lured, riffs a great dirty backing before both collude with the rapier like swings of drummer Raphael Renggli and the first of involvement enticing band shouts. Vocalist Tobias Küng is soon to the fore directing middle finger reply to prejudice, the guitars of Yannick Balmer and Michael Portmann casting a mesh of grouchy riffs and animated grooves. There is no escaping the swift influence of its attitude and body, a submission subsequently given to song after song in varying but certain degrees thereon in.
The excellent start is matched by the caustic stomp of Find A Way, its intensive assault a furious charge compared to the swagger of the previous protagonist but veined with melodic tendrils and scythes and twisting spirals of noise. For all the rage, already an inbred infectiousness is as powerfully commandeering reactions, Insanity entangling both with imagination and zeal. It is a quality as rich within the album’s title track and indeed What I See after that. The first of the pair points and challenges with every syllable and note, band cries and neck muscle testing catchiness a particular trespassing incitement within nothing but while the second flows from its predecessor upon another deliciously grouchy bassline into a web of seriously grooved and rapacious punk rock with the instincts to rock ‘n’ roll.
Four tracks down and we would have forgiven any upcoming slip-ups such the potency of the quartet but no second is wasted in allowing ears and attitude a moment to relax, With My Friends an immediate air punching, hip guiding announcement of kinship stoking the fires. Again pleasure is ignited by Zemp’s bass, its metallic grievance manna for personal taste more than matched by the rest of the band within the inflammatory holler.
Down consumes ears in a cantankerous bawl next but one delivered with deliberate restraint carrying a perfect level of volatility; a blend lifting the body to its feet and vocal chords to their highest decibel throughout. Such success is an easy finding for All I Need too; its badgering riffs and probing rhythms herded into greater feistiness by Küng and listener by the ever persuasive and addictive gang clamours.
Through the mercurial but persistently wilful and stormy climate of One Day and the surly belligerence of $laves, there is no let-up in disdain and disobedience or imagination lit invention which may at times take a while to reveal it’s surprises within the tempests but hungrily makes each track distinct and riveting incitement; What’s Hardcore just as eager to prove the point with its punk ‘n’ roll revelry. Like a vipers nest, the song writhes with grooves, their snaky lures even flirting away when the song is running headlong with punk predation.
The final ignition of defiance and unbridled pleasure is provided by Die For, a body stomping charge riding thrash nurtured riffs like a surfer as melodies flare and rhythms prowl. Musically, the senses feel like they are being stalked by the track, vocally being willingly drawn with the spirit into mobilisation, both whilst rocking like a hound in heat to their combined militancy.
It is a glorious end to an outstanding encounter entwining the familiar with instinctive contumacy and enterprise resulting in one of, if not, the most enjoyable and manipulative treats heard so far this year.
Toss a Coin is out now through Bastardized Recordings @ https://bastardizedrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/toss-a-coin or http://insanity.ch/store/
Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017
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