Feral State – S/T (Mef House)

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It’s taken this Leicester band a while since their first demo back in 2016 to pull together a debut album, and this still includes some of the songs that appeared back then, but it’s been more than worth the wait, as this is ferocious hardcore punk of the highest order. Savage opener ‘Lost All Hope’ might initially suggest this is a generic D-beat offering, but the tight metallic chorus riff begs to differ, and the relentless tempo and Joe’s immense roar are pretty compelling.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a proggy punk release, by any stretch of the imagination, and the band do pretty much what you expect them to, having clapped eyes on the cover art, but they’re incredibly competent at thrashing out pissed-off punk, and work in enough chugging twists and turns to deliver a satisfyingly dynamic listen.

Factor some gang vox into those metallic breakdown sections and there’s a definite old school UKHC influence simmering somewhere just under the surface, which again helps stave off that dreaded predictability, whilst the monstrous bass sound and disgustingly thick guitars help ensure slower tracks like ‘Sick’ and ‘Eyes of The Law’ convince with a heaving power.

There are plenty of old school influences at work here, like Discharge, Exploited and Doom, but the band’s youthful intensity and Gung Ho delivery ensure they run rings round the old guard – which is exactly how it should be. Ian Glasper

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