Album Review – Atomçk / Every Room In Britain (2017)

A 17-minute nonstop head crusher of cacophonous chaos, furious, catchy riffs and inhumanly ape-like shrieking vocals. That’s how good primeval Grindcore should always sound.

When the total running time of an album with 21 songs is only around 17 minutes, you know those 17 minutes will be as intense as hell. Founded in 2006 in Bristol, a city and county in South West England, Grindcore/Hardcore Punk trio Atomçk has evolved from their primitive noise roots into a uniquely eccentric and offbeat brand of Grindcore, culminating now in 2017 with the release of the full-length album Every Room In Britain, a nonstop head crusher of cacophonous chaos, furious, catchy riffs and inhumanly ape-like shrieking vocals, as if Cornelius, the son of Caesar from Planet of the Apes, decided to rebel against his father in his teens to form a Hardcore band.

Most probably the shortest intro of all time, the quick sonic havoc Rot Induction wakes our inner monsters up for the boisterous one-minute tunes Full Of Sell and Fuck Off Back To London, both presenting a solid Grindcore devastation with brutality flowing from all instruments. Furthermore, just try to follow the lyrics of the latter with the band (“Graffiti tours / Fuck off back to London / Moustache barbers / Fuck off back to London / Bad film clubs / Fuck off back to London / Cultural erosion / Fuck off back to London now”). In Back Office Savings we have the ultimate shrieking and slamming feast, courtesy of the demented “apes” Linus, Luke and Carl, and then you might wonder how they could possibly sound more violent than this in less than a minute, right? Well, their answer comes in the form of the songs Preston Slayer Fans and Young Professionals. And when you least expect, you’ll begin to deeply enjoy their primate-inspired screeches.

Every Room sounds slightly more rhythmic than its predecessors, but still insanely brutal, with its demonic guitars going along really well with their demented gnarls; followed by the incomprehensible, anarchic chant titled Community Payback, the thunderous bass lines of the “bridge” Bare Minimum Customer Service, and the amazingly violent, fast-paced tempest named Robot Cannibal. What about those lyrics, can you follow them (“What to do / I’m not sure / Might as well / Kill something / Didn’t work / The last time / Never mind / We have to / Do something / Someone must / Be murdered / Blind idiot god / Demands meat”)? Or should I ask if you’re still alive after so much savagery?

Misery Trance presents menacing low-tuned sounds accompanied by their trademark monkey-frog-hybrid screams, while in Waiting For Junko they speed up their pace and offer more of their Grindcore dementia. And the slamming party goes on with Two Grand Bro and Glass Floor, showcasing Mike Patton/Barney Greenway-inspired vocals in a turbulent manner, which is also the case in the demented Pro Area 1. Then after four seconds of noises in Micro Aggressions we’re treated to Self Defeater, with its fun lyrics (“No tolerance / For dogma / But be careful / With the use / Of language / Or thou shalt / Be cast out”) and deranged drumming. In Purged the trio proves why they’re the masters of sick Grindcore, destroying everything and everyone that crosses their path in less than one minute, whereas Another Nails In The Coffins brings forward more of their insane Mike Patton-ish vocals. How can Linus screech like that during their live concerts? That should be an interesting event to watch. Anyway, there are still two more minutes of pure aggression and wicked growling in Every Room In Britain, starting with Fastard and followed by Anguish Champion, closing this berserk and totally crazed album on a high note.

Portraying an elegant artwork by Luke Oram, Every Room In Britain can be relished in full on Spotify and purchased at several different locations such as the SuperFi Records BandCamp or webstore, the WOOAAARGH! Records BandCamp or webstore, and the Rip Roaring Shit Storm Records BandCamp or Big Cartel, as well as on iTunes, on Amazon, at the Boomkat webstore or at Discogs. It definitely feels like there are more places where you can buy the album than minutes of music in it, don’t you agree? Now please get up from that couch, stretch your muscles and get ready to jump up and down and slam like an ape to the hurricane of extreme sounds blasted by Atomçk, because that’s what entertaining high-end Grindcore is all about.

Best moments of the album: Fuck Off Back To London, Preston Slayer Fans, Robot Cannibal and Waiting For Junko.

Worst moments of the album: Misery Trance and Bare Minimum Customer Service.

Released in 2017 SuperFi Records

Track listing
1. Rot Induction 0:04
2. Full Of Sell 0:54
3. Fuck Off Back To London 1:07
4. Back Office Savings 0:49
5. Preston Slayer Fans 0:46
6. Young Professionals 0:53
7. Every Room 0:51
8. Community Payback 0:34
9. Bare Minimum Customer Service 0:09
10. Robot Cannibal 1:48
11. Misery Trance 0:55
12. Waiting For Junko 0:55
13. Two Grand Bro 0:55
14. Glass Floor 0:38
15. Pro Area 1:01
16. Micro Aggressions 0:04
17. Self Defeater 0:38
18. Purged 0:56
19. Another Nails In The Coffins 0:53
20. Fastard 0:42
21. Anguish Champion 1:11

Band members
Linus – vocals, machines
Luke – guitars
Karl – drums

Album Review – BlackWolf / The Hunt (2014)

If you think Rock N’ Roll is dead, think again. At least in the United Kingdom it is not only alive, but also stronger than ever.

Rating4

blackwolf_the huntDo you know that sad and annoying feeling when the specialized media insists on saying that Rock N’ Roll is dead, which gets even worse when we turn on the radio and realize the great majority of bands being played in Rock N’ Roll stations are too pop or commercial, not depicting at all the true essence of rock music? Well, if you’ve been suffering from that horrible “illness” lately and don’t know what to do, I have the perfect “remedy” for you: The Hunt, the awesome new album by British Hard Rock band BlackWolf.

It’s simply amazing how many excellent bands and albums are coming from the UK in the past few months, which is also true for this Bristol-based “Soulful Hard Rock N’ Roll” band as they like to call themselves. Mixing some great elements from classic bands such as Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith, with a more contemporary sonority from Airbourne and Avenged Sevenfold, they were able to create “music from the 70’s” without sounding outdated or nostalgic, all thanks to the professionalism and creativity from all band members.

Their influence from the 70’s/80’s Hard Rock is evident from the very first notes of Mr. Maker, a song that could have been easily recorded by a band like Velvet Revolver, with highlights to its strong vocal work, or in the brilliant Keep Moving On, a song that was born to be a Rock N’ Roll radio hit due to its catchy chorus (you’ll start singing it without even noticing), lots of feeling and an excellent guitar solo. The groovy Moving Mountains, with its old school Black Sabbath riffs and an excellent work done by bassist Ben Webb and drummer Tom Lennox-Brown, will just make you more addicted to this album without any doubt and eager for what’s next.

And what comes after that is, of course, also very pleasant: Faith In Me is a kind of ballad with many elements used by bands like Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with singer Scott Sharp elevating the overall quality of the song with a great performance, while the fast and heavy Trouble, which is absolutely perfect for a road trip, presents a band entirely on fire. Moreover, it’s quite impossible not to get pumped up with this song and its awesome guitar solo. Things slow down a little with Only Said In Silence, a semi-acoustic ballad showcasing a more modern Hard Rock (with another powerful guitar solo by the end of it), but the band quickly gets back in full force with House of Emerald Wine, another memorable tune with an outstanding  touch of Blues Rock added to it.

blackwolfIf after all that awesomeness you still agree with the “specialists” that say Rock N’ Roll is dead, simply listen to Raised On the Sun and you’ll change your mind. this song is classic Stoner Rock at its best, with vocalist Scott Sharp killing it once again. Or maybe you should take a listen at the fast beats and awesome riffs from Black Hole Friend, another above-average Hard Rock track? But wait, there’s still more Rock N’ Roll to come with the very traditional approach and lots of feeling found in Dragging Ghosts and Relief, the latter being a very good proof that this band never gets tired of playing true rock music.

There are two more songs to go in The Hunt, the first called Sleepwalking, a ballad that will please most fans of that pure classic Rock N’ Roll, and Sea of Mercy, a high-end track that sounds more like a tribute to the 70’s than just a regular song. Besides that, the nice album art also seems totally inspired by some of the old Black Sabbath albums, such as the classic Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

In short, all I can say about this album is that if BlackWolf were born let’s say about 30 or 40 years ago, they would be for sure one of the greatest Rock N’ Roll bands of all time, a reference in traditional Hard Rock, and we would see lots of grown-ups and kids wearing their T-shirts on the streets today. And if you got excited with this review and, more important than that, with BlackWolf’s thrilling and passionate music, you can purchase The Hunt as a shrink-wrapped 4 panel Digipack packaging with CD or as a digital copy on iTunes. It’s because of bands like BlackWolf that we can joyfully ignore the media and rest assured Rock N’ Roll will never die.

Best moments of the album: Keep Moving On, Trouble and House of Emerald Wine.

Worst moments of the album: Only Said In Silence and Dragging Ghosts.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Mr. Maker 4:00
2. Keep Moving On 4:10
3. Moving Mountains 3:28
4. Faith In Me 4:35
5. Trouble 3:16
6. Only Said In Silence 4:40
7. House of Emerald Wine 3:28
8. Raised On the Sun 4:48
9. Black Hole Friend 3:22
10. Dragging Ghosts 4:47
11. Relief 4:05
12. Sleepwalking 4:10
13. Sea of Mercy 4:50

Band members
Scott Sharp – vocals
John Greenhill – guitars
Jason Cronin – guitars
Ben Webb – bass
Tom Lennox-Brown – drums