If there’s one thing that could never be aimed at either Isolation Tank or Art Of Burning Water, it’s that they do things by half measures. In fact, restraint seems a completely alien concept to these five ne’er-do-wells, this brief blast of filth, ire and distortion hitting with the force of a claw hammer to the skull and never, ever holding back.
Isolation Tank are a mysterious two-piece who excel in the kind of powerviolence-oriented grind that keeps bands like Brutal Truth in cowboy hats and speed. Binge opens with an acid-bath of distortion and feedback before guttural sludge and a verbal kicking from vocalist/guitarist Jack is launched, tearing feet out from under and launching unpredictable side-swipes at your prone body. Skin Prison reverses course, the sudden violence diminishing into a swirl of blackened sludge and the irate roars of someone exposed to too much humanity. As for Threads? Well, anyone who’s seen that charming slice of British nuclear paranoia might well be prepared for the effect of simmering drone and grindcore shockwaves on the human body, but for everyone else it’s another bleak reminder of mortality.
London’s filthiest chaps Art Of Burning Water open with the enigmatically-titled Talking To Will Elvin About Al Kizys, the air-raid guitars and ragged screech of Grief, a caustic exercise in wrath made sound, drums beating out a high-octane blitzkrieg of percussive force before the tremolo overload dips into a clenched-fist hardcore stomp that will keep the crowd-killers moving for about as long as their attention spans typically last. Birmingham Is Not The Same Without You is vintage hardcore punk grabbed by the scruff of its leathers and dragged into a 21st century dystopia, while No, I Won’t Still Be Loving You Tomorrow mixes up Alan Partridge samples and malformed noise rock à la Keelhaul and MC5 smashing up a caravan park for a minute of bloodletting and frenzied malice.
Yes, this is fast, loud and angry. No, it’s not something to stroke your beard over while reading Baudelaire. That said, though, both bands know how to keep up the pace and keep it interesting at the same time, switching up flurries of speed with solid grooves, and avoiding all the one-trick-pony pitfalls that typically crop up with releases like these. They have just the right mix of dirt and madness for the short ride to remain sweet, and you could feasibly listen to this for an hour on a loop and never feel like you were hearing the same thing twice. In summary, just buy the bloody thing, get the drinks in and try not to smash up the place in the process.
Scribed by: Dave Bowes