SWARF DAMAGE explodes onto the scene with a monstrous debut and a sonic assault of heaviness. They’re described as a “hardcore/thrash crossover”, which is accurate, I think fans of both genres will be very pleased with the results.
Not to get off on a rant about the difference between Hardcore and Trash, but a band like SWARF DAMAGE does bring the subject up. I come from an 80’s Thrash background so I obviously hear more of that in their music. If you grew up with the 90’s Crossover bands you most likely hear more of that.
I will state my case that they are indeed more Thrash. I think the guitars are based more out of the NWOBH than Punk. They have Judas Priest like rhythms and both Andrew Scott Blake and Keith Harris seem to be very accomplished players. They take the time to put out well-constructed solos too that is probably closer to the Thrash mentality than Hardcore.
Frontman Michael Cowley does next to have a style closer to Punk and Hardcore. His aggressive attack gets your heart pumping, he just nails it on every song. His raw energy is off the charts, he’s the real deal.
As a drummer myself I always have appreciation for the rhythm section, who can make good songs great and great songs exceptional. Drummer Brian Duffy and Bassist Dan Wade provide a concrete foundation for the songs to be built upon. Again, I hear more Metal influences from them than Hardcore or Punk, but the important thing is that they are driving the truck forward.
As far as individual songs, there simply isn’t a weak song or any filler. “Four Minute Warning” is a single and probably the most unique song of the album. Great groove, great hooks and an some of the best musicianship on this track.
“Doom Or Be Doomed” is just a great song title and the song delivers too. I really heard a “Thrash” influence on this one personally. “Decayed” and “Baten Down The Hatches” were leaning more towards Hardcore/Punk and probably an ass-kickers to play live.
“Sin Eater” was just a Metal onslaught of epic proportions. “Kill 2 Survive” was another Thrasher with some great double-kick and soaring guitars. “Father” wrapped up the album, but it could have been the lead track, some really nice dual melodic guitar work.
It’s rare when I can recommend an album to multiple genre’s like this but I really think fans of just about any style of Metal or Hardcore will appreciate the album. It’s produced exceptionally well so it’s HEAVY not noisy. There’s an analog feel to this one, you can keep turning up louder and it keeps sounding better.
All around an amazing effort. It’s 8 songs, right in between an EP and full length, but each song is so solid you’re easily getting your money’s worth here. Can’t wait to hear what these guys have next in the chamber.
Pre-order your copy of Swarf Damage now here.
Michael Cowley – Vocals
Dan Wade – Bass
Andrew Scott Blake – Guitar
Keith Harris – Guitar
Brian Duffy – Drums