Sunday, August 18, 2013

Album Review - Words That Burn-'PRAEY'

Location:Dundalk, Ireland

Label:Flat Battery Records

Readers of a certain vintage (i.e my vintage, mid twenties, man child), will remember a time when the term nu-metal wasn't necessarily  a dirty word, and while there will never be any doubt that most of  the more mainstream practitioners of the genre were unadulterated horse-shit(Staind, lol), there were also some genuinely brilliant bands( American Head Charge, Downer, early Mudvayne to name just a few) that made some quality music.Well,  turns out I'm not the only one that remembers bands dressing up as pillocks and playing seven string guitars hanging down past their knees, as Dundalk/Carrickmacross quartet Words That Burn have just produced PRAEY,an album that serves as a love letter to the genres heyday,while simultaneously introducing a formidable new talent to the Irish metal scene.

The bands' sound is a hybrid of eclectic songwriting akin to   Angel Dust era Faith No More , industrial  electronics and down tuned, staccato  metallic riffing.Massive,danceable groove-laden riffs in the vein of bands like Static-X( before all the  underage sex scandals of course) blend with skewed piano instrumentals and tortured vocals in a hugely enjoyable miasma of angsty heaviness.Tracks like the hook laden 'So Helpless' deserve to become rock-club mainstays, while slower, more atmospheric numbers like 'Ctrl X' recall the more reflective moments of American Head Charges' The War Of Art. And before all you music snobs start your snickering, before fashion left them behind and drugs took a serious hold, AHC were a fantastic band, deservedly selling shit loads of records, and working with Rick Rubin.

'Dig' is another highlight, the almost rave-y  intro recalling the less turgid moments of Censura.The band clearly  put strong stock in songwriting, and the majority of the songs here are exceptionally well crafted.The band forge a distinct sound, too twisted and schizophrenic for the posturing of the hardcore scene, too clever for the macho knuckle dragging of a lot of the modern metal brigade and possibly too weird and left-field for the alternative  set to appreciate them.Songs like 'Sictember' are indicative of this idiosyncratic approach,a funereal industrial-metal dirge with more than a nod to the work of some bloke called Michael Patton, while the closing title track shows the band are more than  capable of moments of plaintive beauty as well.

A hugely enjoyable listen, and refreshingly free of breakdowns, fringes, crab-core , and other such nonsense.Highly recommended.

Rating: 8/10

For fans of: Mudvayne, American Head Charge, Faith No More, Downer, Spineshank

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