‘Formed in resistance to dickheads, by dickheads’. This is the apparent mantra of War After War, the brainchild of Jason Hope and Ben Corkhill, who by day are the rhythm section of Bong Cauldron, and friend Lewis Atkinson of Nomad, who plays all the guitar parts on this new outing from APF Records. I do feel like they are vastly selling themselves short, there are indeed a lot of ‘dickheads’ out there, but these guys don’t fall into that category.
No Change is War After War’s debut six track EP, it’s a clever little debut, and it comes in at fourteen minutes, so it’s not the longest recording ever, but more than plenty of time to stamp on your face and make you notice! It’s an absolutely solid six tracks, and it’s everything you would expect from any hardcore outing, it’s fast, heavy, and extremely obnoxious, it’s somewhat like a venomous punch to the throat.
This EP would make the perfect accompaniment to that scene in the movie Avengers Assemble, where the Hulk is smashing Loki all about the place, but on repeat, for about twenty minutes. That’s the level of aggression to compare it with.
As for the sound itself, War After War have a very distinct NYC hardcore tone going on, it’s impossible not to listen to this and take from it several other iconic hardcore bands, such as Sick Of It All, or Vision Of Disorder, but most notably it’s reminiscent of Biohazard. It has elements of that trademark Biohazard sound, without any of the cheesiness that, at times, were criticised for. It has the breaks, and the unison chanting, which if you’re a fan like me, you won’t help but fall in love with War After War as its fast, and intense, there’s no let up in the pace, and from start to finish it never drops off at all, it just powers on, at breakneck speed.
It would be easy to tie all six tracks together as one free flowing longer track, but there are still subtle differences.
Highlights for me were Burned, Same Mistakes, and Ignorance, the last of which somehow had me reminiscing about Entombed on DCLXVI: To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak The Truth, or even Same Difference, when they drifted away from the iconic Entombed death metal sound, and fell into more punk rock. A crazy comparison to draw, especially considering that Entombed would in no way be classified as a hardcore band, or puck rock for that matter.
its fast, and intense, there’s no let up in the pace, and from start to finish it never drops off at all, it just powers on, at breakneck speed…
Ultimately, War After War aren’t stomping any new ground, but they don’t need to. They’re rejuvenating a path which is much in need of some new blood, and on this I firmly believe they will be updating, and adapting, a new era feel to the hardcore sound of the last three decades, which will be well worth watching, that’s for sure.
War After War are a relatively new signing for APF Records, they’ve popped up from out of nowhere, and another great addition to the roster by a really savvy label. It’s going to be interesting to see where they go, and to see if what is fundamentally a side project will stay just that, or if it will become a bigger monster, and see them chasing for that hardcore crown.
Either way, for a debut this is fantastic, and if you love your old school hardcore, this would definitely be a worthwhile addition to your collection.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish