There’s something immensely satisfying about slamming your feet progressively on hard concrete, while listening to music that could melt the face of a room full of eight-year-old children. This is how I spent most of my time listening to the first full length from, Southsea hardcore mentalists, Attack! Vipers! Unfortunately I learnt, that without proper running shoes, I could seriously damage my shins. I put the athletic career on hold, but it seems sprint booties will have to go on the next shopping list, as the titans of UK hardcore have released a new record.
One of the greatest things about Deadweight Revival is that, within twenty seconds of listening, it’s clear this is not just another “hardcore” album. There are no cliché beat downs, as used by so many try hard bands trapped in old conventions. They seem terrified to even slightly move away from creating an integral ambience of melodic hardcore, which often comes across as sounding like a slightly better polished, more superior, technical rendition of Will Haven’s Carpe Diem. In fact, Deadweight Revival even puts the bands previous efforts to shame, with the vocal ability of singer Joe Watson pushing forward into a more mellifluous, yet still entirely brutal, timbre, putting him on a pedestal when compared to other vocalists of the genre.
Vocals are not the only thing Deadweight Revival does to push the hardcore genre to the next level. In terms of musicality, the record shows a much more intrinsic side to A!V!, with guitars that switch between nimble licks, beastly distorted chords and andante sections so seamlessly it makes the record almost impossible to put into the “hardcore” pigeon-hole. Sometimes it sounds like hardcore, other times it sounds like power metal and, occasionally, you get a part which would probably be very much at home on a fucking Sigur Ros release.
The band’s self proclaimed style of being “somewhere between The Suicide File and Envy” is hard to deny. The similarities are there but at the same time there’s so much much to the Vipers than just that. Deadweight Revival takes the hardcore musicality then adds a punk rock ethos and does this with aplomb. In doing so, it creates an energetic sound that UK hardcore had missed dearly since the departure of, Manchester’s finest, Fill the Void.
I could say Deadweight Revival was by the far the best UK hardcore album I’d heard in a long time, but I’d be lying. It’s the best I’ve heard…EVER. Attack! Vipers! have far surpassed expectations with this record, and if any band were to be at the forefront of reviving UK hardcore – a genre what could arguably be called a dying one – then these guys are sure to be it. This record proves that.