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Comply or Die | ‘Invocation’

Not a lot of bands out there are named after champion racehorses, but these Belfast based newcomers have the strength and froth at the edges of the mouth to rival their namesake. What’s really refreshing about ‘Invocation’ is that it bucks the expectation of the quiet looking cover art with an assault of brash rock and buckets of pace.

It’s hard to place the sort of the racket that the group pump out, but it’s certainly more than abrasive enough. Sounding a good bit like the yowling glee of The Bronx’s first album, this stuff is less metallic and more schronk-ridden. One thing it doesn’t lack is energy.

A sticking point would have to be the vocals, which sound a little bit reserved and clean compared to the snarling bite of the guitars. Nonetheless It’s competently played stuff, and the production is excellent, full of beef and with all the components nicely laid out. Often it sounds like the band are tearing along with little heed to direction, but it’s the youthful glee and pace of their sound that saves it.

Those noisy elements that make up the first two tracks come shooting into the fore when the last track, ‘NYL’ makes itself heard. Not sounding a thousand miles from the more lurching side of Killing Joke, this is a sprawling wasteland of a song, with the group abandoning song templates for twelve minutes of distorted hammering.

It can sound a bit hamfisted, but there’s no denying the venom is there. A funny end to the demo, it’s almost industrial in it’s violence, and serves to underline that Comply or Die have a darker side to them that’s harder to pin down than your average punk ‘n’ rollers. This is a decent offering from them that’s worth a punt.

Lorcan Archer ::: 05/10/10

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