Zero Again – A Deep Appreciation Of Suffering LP (Sanctus Propaganda) CD (Engineer Records)

For the last couple of years Zero Again have been bubbling under the surface with a slew of 7″ releases, but now their musical prowess has been fully unleashed on their debut album. This four-piece from South Wales has got an incredible musical pedigree under their belts but instead of resting on their laurels, they continue to innovate and forge their own musical style. The opener “Weeping and Wailing” is an old style punk hardcore rager. Really sets the tone for the rest of the album, but rather than being a textbook thrash-a-thon, there is so much going on to listen to and absorb.  

This is all catchy pounding stuff, there are twisted melodies and swings in tempo and mood. Somewhere along the lines the guitar work had me thinking of bands like Political Asylum, augmented by Ian Glasper’s basslines that dance up and down the fretboard. The song “Existential Void” could have been named “Existential Voi(vo)d” – they also use this song to tell a tale of the dystopian reality of modern life. Cold and harsh, but with a grinding angular style reminiscent of those Canadian legends Mentioning the likes of Political Asylum or Voivod does not mean Zero Again sound like them, it is to gear you up to expect the unexpected. That said, this is very listenable, aggressive hardcore-punk that has been on repeat listens ever since I got hold of it. Tom Chapman

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