Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Record Reviews: SSS "Problems to the Answer" (Earache Records)

SSS are a bunch of English hardcore dudes who probably loved their skateboards and thrash too much. They have been delivering blistering crossover thrashcore since the late 00s and have been doing it better than many 'thrash revival' muppets. They have a new album on Earache Records, which is a total scorcher! Review by Rigas (rigalbigal [at] yahoo [dot] com).

Do you think there is a gap between NYHC, fast oldschool trash metal, crossover, fastcore and grind? Well, SSS (meaning Short Sharp Shock – not Super SS or other nazi stuff) are filling this niche pretty well with their 3rd full length. No fancy stuff, no polished production - just music straight in your face and I appreciate that. These guys from Liverpool, UK manage to pack 25 songs in 41 minutes, hence most of the numbers are less than 2 minutes long.

The first song ‘The First Kill’ starts in an oldschoool Crossover / thrash manner akin to SOD, Whiplash, Slayer and Dark Angel. The vocals are shouted, reminding me Billy Milano (SOD), Roger Miret (Agnostic Front) and a bit of Ray Cappo (Youth of Today) but also Benediction in the few death metal growls. The second song is a short r’n’r d-beat tune while the third is a 15 second fastcore blast reminiscent of Cause for Alarm (self-titled 7’’), but also newer acts like early Bratpack. The fourth song ‘Laughing leads to crying’ is again somewhere between crust and NYHC while the following ‘White bread’ is a grindcore injection. Obviously, there is quite some variation between tracks. I heard even a Suicidal Tendencies style crossover in ‘Tales out of school’. ‘Direct Action’ could be the last snap before activists hit the streets! :) The last song ‘Strangenotes’ is a long experimental closer for the album, but it did not impress me.

Overall, although Problems to the Answer is not totally groundbreaking, it has a lot of stimulating moments like ‘Foreign Body Plot’ which is really a punk-thrash-crust crossover or the throwback thrash of ‘Sick Pleasures’. The vocals are fitting all needs of the songs, the bass is quite pronounced & pummeling and the music is altogether well-executed. SSS seem to possess a vast knowledge of U.S. hardcore punk and everything crossover plus they put a good deal of effort in this release, taking care of the songwriting and the general flow of the record.

Compared to their previous releases, this time they come with more speed (grind!), tempo shifts and variety, something which is positive. I think crossover thrashing skaters will appreciate this release as it is easy-to-follow straight music. Don’t leave your brains on the pavement! SSS continue their crossover revival discography carry keeping the tradition of crossover in the new age, where ‘the armies of punk rock and thrash metal finally come together into a unified front bent on exposing social injustice and political hypocrisy’.

No comments:

Post a Comment