Monday, January 2, 2012

concrete asylum - demo (2011) review & download

oh my, 2011 was the year of hardcore demos. I found myself having a difficult time keeping up with all the new bands, a lot of them invariably sharing members of bands I was already a fan of.
the stack of demo cassettes I've collected from this past year shows plainly that halifax's punk scene is alive, busy & prolific. among all of these releases concrete asylum's tape feels very at home.
the album starts out typically with a bout of feedback but quickly cuts into super fast blasting riffs with shouted vocals. while listening to other hardcore demos I feel like I sometimes have to fill in the blanks & try hard to decipher what's happening in all of the noise. like, maybe there's a neat drum fill right there? but it's such a blurry cacophony you never really know for sure. this is where concrete asylum stands out. the production is lo-fi but still surprisingly clear & all of beautiful raging chaos these songs intentionally create isn't simply lost in the mix. every instrument shines & even though the songs are really raw & furious I can't help but smile.
while I usually can't stand this style of shouted monotone vocals, here they make sense & grow on me with each listen. the best part is the sporadic voice cracks which remind me, oh yeah, this is a punk band, there are humans actually making these sounds & holy fuck, do they know how fast they are playing? don't try & nod your head in time with this band as it'll probably leave you with a serious neck problem in the morning.
this band mixes crust, grindcore & hardcore punk & turns all of them into the best versions of themselves. my favourite track is snare, the last on the tape. the floor tom d-beat intro & lyrics about police being trapped in snares sit very well with me. the screamed vocals in between the verses give this song a little something different too which I think would be neat to experiment with more.
another amazing band from a productive bunch of punks. check this shit out & if you can pick up a copy of the cassette. the artwork by guitarist adam kindred has this weird cut & paste, xeroxed to all hell, punk as fuck comic book feel to it.

- ryley samantha


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