Only Fumes And Corpses | ‘Who Really Cares, What Really Lasts’
Punch and push. The two things that make a hardcore gig audience: the two things that make a hardcore band. The two things that make a fantastic hardcore album.
Galway’s OFAC showed they had both qualities with their last album, which did unfortunately go under the radar. Or at least under many metallers’ radar, given that they’ve played a ton of shows in Europe to what were hopefully supportive crowds.
In a manner not entirely dissimilar to Neifenbach, interviewed here recently, these guys show that commitment, message and determination in delivery all combust in exciting and driving music. The blastbeat that opens ‘The Weight Of Your World On My Shoulders’, and the D-Beat it continues into show that one off for anyone in doubt.
Variety in here comes mainly by way of the speed settings. Only Fumes are as capable and powerful at the slow and mid paced tempos as they are at the straight out hardcore.
That means that tracks like ‘Apathy’ fly by in a violent burst of tightly focused punk (wanting only for a little more bass in the production) – with ferocious chuggidy palm muting in there making it all the more vitriolic.
They slow however to a rousing weight with ‘The Colour Purple’ (ie what you come out feeling when the album’s done), using a heavy tom batter and darkened, unresolved chords to lend the kind of feel you’d sooner expect from Coldwar.
These twelve tracks, though similar enough, seek not to reinvent the wheel. They merely implore to attach firecrackers to it, and roll it down a steep hill in the direction of the Irish orthodoxy.
It would be entirely disingenuous for me to claim some knowlegde or appreciation of the finer points of hardcore. All I know is that when it mixes with a little bit of metal – on its own terms, that is – the results can be exhilarating.
This is as direct and satisfying an example as is needed. And the little Ska homage in ‘Wreck’ is fucking genius.
4.5/5 – Earl Grey ::: 26/08/10