You know bands aren’t fucking about when their new release is self titled.
It’s a clear statement: we are now at peak form. This is us. Take it or leave it.
Even the cover embodies that idea: the red and black giving a feel that is bold, eye catching in its thematic mix of both “end of days” and “to the core.”
So as well as something that would look well on a t-shirt or baseball cap, it compliments and furthers the title.
Bold statement. Let’s see if the music matches up.
‘Lying for a Living’ is a bass heavy, Norma Jean style attack with lyrics that seemingly depict the narrator’s life falling apart both professionally and personally.
Featuring plenty of aggression (both controlled and frenzied) and musicality (the Botch style middle eight), this opening number certainly seems to suggest that the band were right.
‘Tuesday’s Blues’ quickly changes the pace through it’s midtempo (otherwise known as “punching the midget”) which oozes menace and groove.
There’s a very Jacob Bannon like segment where Alex growls that “You don’t win till you’re up there bleeding…You won’t win till the meaning is lost” which, combined with a whammy bar, sounds utterly cathartic.
‘Long Gone’ starts off post punky, then goes all Every Time I Die on us. Not a bad track by any means, but certainly the least notable of all the songs on this EP.
‘Feel it More’ gets things back on track quickly, feeling like something Gacy’s Threads would be putting out today if they were still active. The shortest song on here, it plummets and the way the vocals trade off each other at certain points give the song a dissonance that I wish they’d done more of throughout the song.
Closer ‘Death is a Reminder’ has the traditional hardcore style closer: a moody, searing riff and tribal rhythms that it carries and builds on for nearly three minutes before jettisoning it and going back into hyper speed.
The last minute sees the band going for an apocalyptic feel to end the record on but, while it does the job, it’s not bombastic enough to really lift it.
The use of local guest vocalists on the album is a nice touch, as it allows Bailer to show their loyalty to the Irish scene and, by and large, the guests leave their stamp on the material without it ever detracting from Bailer. Xander Coughlan (now of Worn Out) gets the nod as the best, due to the unbridled aggression evident in his voice.
So, an excellent EP that shows that Bailer are putting the work in, reaping the rewards and have the musical muscle crush all around them, but there’s one or two areas in the material which need worked on. But they’re heading in the right direction.
Their next release will crush all around them.
– Christopher Owens ::: 26/05/18