By Various Artists
'They're like Converge on acid' ..That's what Frank Carter had to say about London based hardcore act Throats. Spend all of 15 minutes with their split with fellow British young bloods Maths and you'll realise how close to the mark that analogy is. Agonizing one minute, scalding the next, as a group of individuals raised on pure angst and Cursed, the outpouring of hate and bile was always going to be something punishing.
Throats specialise in savoured nuggets of rambling riffing cloistered midway through by Alex Wealand's fucking caustic shrieks at either end, with such a serrated edge to his voice it's not hard to imagine him going toe to toe with Jacob Bannon and taking no lesser form than Lucifer on stage. You would be hard pushed to find anything else akin to the Throats experience in Britain at the moment. In fact I'd go as far as to say it simply does not exist. The band, rounded out by bassist Thomas Sadler, drummer Tom, and guitarists Bill Trevey and Mark Ringrose, are not concerned for one second with disposable hooks or throwaway melody. Their astringent brand of grind inflected hardcore renders a lot of contemporary heavy acts tame.
Opening their side of the Maths split EP is 'Headclouds,' an ominous three and a half minutes of brooding guitars and skull cracking stickwork, which eventually ignites an already doomy atmosphere with incendiary vocal barbs. Tumbling on all limbs flailing into Locked Blue - a short and sick hardcore mel?which works itself into something of a groove by the end, the grind induced fever continues its punishing onslaught as 'Reign of Low' and 'Comedown' barage the senses in quick succession, only to then lure the listener into a gulf of suffocation. 'Deathnaps' steals the show, clocking in at six and a half minutes it is their Iliad, their Odyssey. A meandering barbarian of a song comprised of Throat's hardcore punk aggression as well as their love for creating an atmosphere thick enough to choke upon.
Final track 'Hibernate' staggers into an immediate vocal tirade, progressing into a gloomy trade off between distortion and blaring, "I can't believe what this world has done to me" pierces the heavy veil of bass and guitar backdrop to leave a marked impression. Give them a listen, they'll no doubt gut you bow to stern.
Maths are an entirely different beast, if Throats are the bastard offspring of a Cursed, Converge and Napalm Death session of swapping bodily fluids then Maths are the product of a similar encounter between Pg. 99, Orchid and a whole host of San Diegan violence. Track one from their bitter half to a bitter record is 'Heavy Heart' - burning, nauseating, and capable of destroying living tissue, with momentary flecks of delicate, true to screamo ambience that really highlights lead singer Zen's boiling of nails in his throat and the subsequent ferrous outpouring.
Further offerings such as 'Vacant' and 'Breathe As If It Were A Story,' clocking in at 2:42 and 0:53 respectively, thoroughly express the spasticity of hardcore punk and screamo in particular. 'Vacant' provides an interesting play off between a desperate-hearted dual vocal trade off and jagged, geometric guitar cuts, pushing the emotive tendencies of a sub-genre known for its awe inspiring cathartic release to levels that seem just as overwhelming as they are unstable. Truly, these are the sounds of a band ready and willing to rattle their heartstrings and guitar strings in equal measure. Final track 'Solace' is as relentless as all the previous efforts, with more of the same larynx stripping yelps doing battle with frantic percussion work and ever inspiring technical fretboard dalliances.
Masterful record from two acts which we as British music fans must savour and nurture in any way we can. Punk isn't dead, it's just mutated beyond belief into something Johnny Rotten would have nightmares about.