Grab a Kevlar Bikini, you too can look sexy in a war-zone and it’s guaranteed to confuse and distract your enemy! I can’t see such a fashion item catching on particularly but I am sure I have seen such accoutrements in certain films; probably Troma are to blame. Aside from images of tank girls in my diseased mind it is also the name of a hardcore punk band hailing outta Zagreb in Croatia and I have to admit after giving this a fair few spins I’m rather pleased to make their acquaintance. The trio who used to be a quintet have a couple of albums prior to this but this is my first encounter with them. Musically it ticked certain boxes very quickly and should do too if you have been brought up on a steady diet of nothing, so to speak. So many bands call themselves hardcore and punk these days that you have to take such descriptions with a pinch of salt, I can’t stand anything resembling pop punk and was slightly concerned before playing this but should have known better, there isn’t a shred of that on evidence here and this is the sound of contempt and aggro that one would hope and expect from the genre, keeping it true and the listener bouncing along through every one of its 38 minutes running time.
Things are set up with a Pre-Doomsday Orgy which could also be the name of a Troma flick. We are greeted by the coarse and raw vocals of singer guitarist Mario Berta and at first they take a bit of getting used to as they have a real roughness about them. After a guitar explosion they fit right in and remind a bit of classic UK troopers Leatherface with the music having a punk enthused energy that also cites them at their finest. Gang backing chants fill in the gaps, we have the rifferama of Fugazi here along with a bit of a street punk gobbiness as well as a bit of the sort of noisy contusion of sound found in bands like Unsane. I immediately felt comfortable with the references but this is more a case of a band playing in the style of many a great band rather than aping them and things twist and turn all over the shop keeping you right on your toes.
Each and every one of these tracks is a cluster bomb of barbed and melodic shredding and it’s impossible not to be swept along by the vigour of it all. The pogo bounce of the chorus on ‘Rabies Pond’ is a cider spilling jump around singalongasong and I’m sure when this hits pits are likely to go crazy. The drummer goes nuts at the start of Nailbiter Blues injecting a thrashathon into things before the track settles down with plenty of groove and hooks at its heart, powering away and getting the head a banging along. ‘Not Your Night’ is like a punchy bar room fight and describes an evening that most have no doubt encountered at some point, everything going wrong and making you wish you had stayed the hell at home. Obviously gauging by the album title the band like a good play on words and ‘Squeezing Diamonds Out Of Slime’ is a great title. It has some neat jagged power chords and a frenetic melody that drags you in and spits you out. It even pauses for breath momentarily but not for long, stranded on stage for a split second you are quickly encouraged to dive back into the seething melee. I also love how they drop everything out the mix apart from a guitar at the end of this number and the beginning of the next ‘One Of Those Bands With More Haters Than Friends’ which really gets punk credentials on with some stalking guitar lines reminiscent of The Dead Kennedys. ‘Meatbomb’ momentarily cites ska punk but never gets truly Rancid or anything but simply adds a bit of manic skank to proceedings. Final track Homo Rattus is here all too quickly and strangely adds some bluesy riffs and a dose of sexy sax to things, leaving you in the knowledge that it won’t be long before you are picking this up and giving it a spin again. Nothing in the way of sour tits from me on this, Kevlar Bikini have proven they are up there with the breast of em.
(8/10 Pete Woods)