Off The Hook – The Mess Inside

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Off The Hook – The Mess Inside 7″/ Download (Anchored/ Acuity)
I recently heard that Final Prayer have hung up their gloves, and that leaves a considerable gap in the Berlin hardcore scene, but here Off The Hook are hot to step into the ring and take up the fight. This is actually their third release but my first exposure to this classic hardcore outfit. Taking their cues from the likes of Trapped Under Ice, OTH are very much riff-orientated, and adept students at the art of writing a good hardcore song. Tough intros, guitars with a lot of groove and power and harsh vocals, the ingredients are all there to ensure the makings of a prize fighter. But ingredients and a good understanding of the arts are not enough – what is also needed is a natural flair, the ability to duck and weave and land the final punch right. I think there is still some untapped potential with OTH – whilst I don’t think this is their knockout punch, the songwriting, recording and overall package are strong enough to move these guys into the hardcore heavyweight division. Tom Chapman

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