Seven Sisters Of Sleep – S/T – CD 2011

Seven Sisters Of Sleep – S/T – CD 2011Eight solid tracks like eight thrashing octopoid tentacles. Twenty minutes. That is all it takes to make a hardcore album. Perfect. After a good few years of soaking my head in one hour-plus albums of droning deathsludge, it feels mighty fine to be back with a glut of snappy Stateside hardcore jabs. This is another quality release from Southern Lord – a fine old label really making ground and hitting the bullseye of late.

The whole black and white DIY crust scene that old-boys like me grew up with in the 1980s really seems to have captured the imagination of a new generation of white and affluent post-hardcore kids (‘kids’ who may well be in their twenties and thirties of course). Fed by the agit-prop politics of classic power violence like Rorschach and MITB, seduced by the iconography of magick and fuelled by the primal riff-worship of Sabbathology, a new-new wave of 21st century metallised punk bands are starting to make headway over the older order of underground hardcore.

SSOS are one such affluent-and-alienated Orange County-based super group comprising of members of thrashing HC outfits Tafkata and The Arm and Sword of a Bastard God. Tracks like the stunning opener ‘Monasteries’ are concise blasts of mostly thudding mid-tempo HC rage, riding easy on superbly simple riffs underpinned by a huge double kick-drum sound. Check out the dirty-assed fat growling bass on the start of ‘Tide is Rising’. That is how a bass guitar should sound, like it’s going to fucking bite your jugular out.

SSOS come on like a beefed-up mutation of probably-best-punk-band-ever Rudimentary Peni (it doesn’t matter if they’ve never heard them – their influence is widespread on many others), Dystopia (surely their OC spiritual ancestors) and good old Eyehategod: despairing pre-crust anarchofilth melded to a quasi-blues-riff-worshipping sludgepunk sensibility. The vocalist reddens his throat nodules over three minute surges of shifting tempo as hissing riffs coil and strike like chrome-plated serpents and the drummer hammers his bass drum to thrilling effect on charged-up numbers like ‘CCEC’ and ‘Beirut’. Indispensable stuff from Southern California – heavy, aggressive, pissed off. Makes me wanna get wasted and fall over at a sweaty gig, instead of balancing a laptop over my slowly heating genitals like I’m doing now.

Label: Southern Lord

Scribed by: Adam Stone