If you didn’t know Pelagic Records is the label run by Robin Staps from The Ocean who you should recognise. The label is packed with excellent bands ranging from post rock to grindcore as this new proposition from Germany unveils a debut album that keeps the angst in your face but like a tormenter it also has its schizoid moments.
“Noise” opens the album as a lone isolated riff gently appears amid spoken words that lead smoothly into “Crooked Tongue” which begins with various effects before a rumbling bass riff starts up. The vocals are nasty, harsh venomous tirades that make “Ambiself” a rabid incursion on the senses as an eruption of chaotic post hardcore blasts forth with no announcement. The drum work on this album is exemplary each beat is hammered down into the songs with the fills acting like sonic nail guns to hammer home the sadistic intent the music has overall.
Parts of this are very off kilter such as “Self Adjusting” which is a one-minute blasting blur with crazed vocal outpourings that proceed directly into “Homeostasis” with its seemingly randomised beats battering the listener down with a venomous vocal tirade. “Verminous” is excellent, starting with a tranquil and stricken riff that is superseded by a wall of drum fill and throaty vocals. The following riff is great, very tuneful but saturated in violence as a clean vocal is unfurled to great effect. Personal favourite is “Smoothtalkers” which has a sort of grind start with the drums being in controlled pandemonium as again clean vocals enable the song to take on a new level of stimulation.
As the release hurtles towards the last few songs “Displaced” is in stark contrast being very calm with a clean vocal and gentle guitar hook. “Live Live” is a quirky little bastard, with a run of riffs and flurry of industrious drumming and comes across as cantankerous hardcore. Ending this album is “Nothing” which starts with a dread like bass riff and distorted guitar work disfiguring the fabric of the song retaining a slower pace that makes the song that much more sinister.
Yet another formidable release on the Pelagic roster, this German band has the ability to scar your soul with a short frenzied and highly engaging debut album.
(8.5/10 Martin Harris)