By Various Artists
This new CD contains seventy minutes of barnstorming recordings from the newest and heaviest acts around. NHS recordings started life as a club, the night proved so popular that it switched locations to Camden only to be banned from the Borough for excessive noise, a fact which speaks volumes (literally) about the acts featured on this fantastic new compilation for the newly formed label. This is an album which deliberately markets itself at listeners sick of the stagnation increasingly apparent in the indie scene and is full of the abrasive voices of discontent, many of whom hail from Leeds and the surrounding area.
The album features a selection of bands who have played at the club over the past 12 months and of the 19 bands featured 6 of them are from Leeds and all of them are well worth a listen. NHS Vol.1 kicks off with Chickenhawk's 'Son of Cern' and it really sets out its stall with a humongous aural assault. The massive drum beats and technical progressions make for a really adrenaline filled three minutes of juddering histrionics.
Pulled Apart by Horses' brilliant demo track 'E=MC Hammer' is a real highlight; with its yelping hooky chorus and interesting riffs it's not quite as potent at the band's live shows but it's not far off. These Monsters slow down the pace with their intensely meandering 'Harry Patton' and Japanese quartet Bo Ningen add an element of the psychedelic with 'Maguro' which is mad in all the right ways.
There are of course some low points too, there are several tracks of sluggish prog and Rolo Tomassi's contribution is uncharacteristically uninspiring for a band who are usually fabulously discordant and unpredictable but on the whole it's a cohesive and accomplished collection.
The roster of artists is fairly diverse within the 'alternative' genre but they seem driven by a sole purpose to make as big a racket as possible and refuse to conform to the mainstream. Metal and hardcore finally seems to be getting back some of the credibility that they have so long been denied and rumour has it that even the 'coolest' kids in Brixton have been spotted wearing metal t-shirts.
This is not a cheesy metal album; there are no mawkish lyrics, no too-tight leather trousers and very few pig squeals but there is brutal riffing and insanely ambitious breakdowns which for the most part make the album sound credible and not too self-indulgent. New Heavy Sounds Vol.1 is like a mix tape given to you by a much older, cooler and musically wise hardcore listener and it is a mix tape any self-respecting 'alternative' kid should treasure.