Grey C.E.L.L. – S/T (King of the Monsters)

To get the formalities out of the way – you may not have heard the name of this hardcore juggernaut yet, but if I mention that fact that two current members of Citizen\’s Arrest play in Grey C.E.L.L., that is sure to make you sit up and pay attention.

This album harks back to something of a forgotten era of Hardcore. You had bands like Rorschach, Acme, Deadguy or Systral pushing the boundaries of heavy music – a few years later Asschapel flew the flag proudly but I\’m not hearing many bands pushing that pounding, hypnotic sound nowadays, so this album is a breath of fresh air.

Take all of the above and crush it into the grooves of a 12\” record and you\’ll find an urgent sound jumping from the record player. One surprising element is the amount of (at times discordant) melody in the guitar playing and when you dig a little deeper there is a hell of a lot going on here musically. You could be forgiven for thinking that drummer Derik has 8 arms given the intensity and speed of some of those fills blasting out!

Sandwiched between the harmonious chaos you also have passages of straightforward Hardcore that conjure up memories of the \”alternative NYHC\” style that was exemplified by the likes of Citizens Arrest, Life\’s Blood or Absolution.

The picture building in my head is that of a band that knows their musical history, and has the ability to marry up different components of sounds close to their hearts. One thing that is never compromised is the intensity of delivery, which is perhaps why this album spins at 45 RPM – the regular 33 RPM could not have coped.  Tom Chapman

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