Saturday, 29 November 2014

Arms Race - Gotta Get Out EP

Meanmugging rough London hardcore bursting with hoarse fury and Oi!-toughened conviction. 6 tracks of storming anger, packed with righteous violence, simplistic solutions for pederast politicians and corrupt cops. Hang the Scum, Kill the Bill, no words minced, just fury in scything guitars, stomps and leers, aggression unbound. Bastard a tear of online alienation, dropping into a muddy half-singsong trudge. Gotta Get Out thumping in like a terrace chant, ripping apart a life with fucked-off spit "HATE MY JOB/HATE MY LIFE", aware of it's own futility but also cognizant of the fact that that doesn't really mean shit when you're living in a blank hole of depression and drudgery, like a half-asphyxiated mutant digging out of the old Animals song. "SAME OLD STORIES YOU'VE ALREADY HEARD/IT'S TIRED, IT'S RECYCLED BUT IT'S FUCKING TRUE." On My Face showing up rage as a wild unhinged form of vulnerability, cos that level of guttural rage comes from a deep dark place, one usually sublimated in the day-to-day mechanics of survival, it gathers together the angers, personal and political and bites them off one by one. "IT'S ONE LAW FOR THEM AND ANOTHER FOR US/AND THERE AIN'T A CUNT ON THE STREETS THAT I CAN TRUST/GIMME A PEOPLE THAT CAN FUCKING FEEL/SHOW A CITY THAT'S FUCKING REAL."

What really pulls the songs here together though is the final track, Mongrel Crew, and its flailing leviathan of a fucking singalong, one of those huge gang-lore screamers that gets right down into your bones with its hooligan bundling, laying waste to the stress and shite drawn on the other songs just through the sheer obliterating power of that punk/hardcore communal violence, packed with self-mythologising, the city geography so loathed on On My Face marked as territory, a couple punk nods to past and present (Conflict's The Ungovernable Force, the band's own label Quality Control). A chorus that makes the personal anguish of Gotta Get Out and On My Face slip away, the societal wrongs-rightings of Hang the Scum and Kill the Bill be just a swing of a fist away, a tangible arm-in-arm possibility. "OI! OI! MONGREL CREW/WE'RE MONGREL ARMY AND WE'RE COMING FOR YOU!" While most of the songs here make you wanna break the world, rearrange it with kicks and glassings, 45 seconds into Mongrel Crew and you fucking can.


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