Non-stop rock of the rawest kind, Phoenix Bodies’ first-ever UK release – a ten-tracker clocking in at only fourteen minutes – is unlikely to find a friend amongst listeners craving melody over menacing malevolence. The Indiana outfit have previously earned themselves comparisons to The Locust and Converge, and for once on-paper press-release acclaim seems startlingly accurate.
Grinding out the kind of hostile riffs that get tattooed men of mountainous proportions moving their in-the-pit bodies like Olympic athletes, Phoenix Bodies are a hardcore band in a very strict sense: they are hard to the core, and anyone raised on the mainstream’s interpretation of the genre, and its ‘post’ cousin, is well advised to steer clear of Raise The Bullshit Flag. ‘Striving For Autism’ plays like Slayer if they were in their twenties again and touring with Daughters!, cascading screams sure to have the inexperienced cowering and craving a little Coldplay comfort. The fantastically titled ‘I Guarantee You’re A Pile Of Shit’ slows things, relatively speaking: at two-minutes-twelve it’s the album’s longest track, but even though the aggression’s tempered by a more-considered compositional structure than the songs either side of it, ‘I Guarantee…’ still sounds like something at least one of the Four Horsemen would keep handy on their iPod.
Wonderfully vitriolic and virulent stuff, and uncompromisingly punishing in the wrong ears, Raise The Bullshit Flag is one of the finest straight-up hardcore albums to land on this desk in a long while. Drum along on a tabletop ‘til your fingers fall apart. I did.
8Mike Diver's Score