Great, just fucking great. We're on lockdown because of coronavirus, the sun is shining and live music is off the cards for the time being. Bollocks bollocks bollocks. And to add to the annoyance, Dripback are back! Yup, the stalwarts of the London metal scene, who shook up the start of the decade with 'Inhaling The Ashes' and 'Failed Futures' are now back after six years with more crossover metal goodness and railing against a world of liars and hypocrites. And there's plenty of those about more than ever.
For those of you who are ignorant of Dripback, they are death metal without the pretentious, hardcore without the clichés and grindcore without the monotony. All the good stuff in other words, with the feeling of a bunch of good-natured mates who'd dislocate each others' shoulders during an ultra-brutal slam dance and then slap it heartily back in place so everyone can enjoy a beer afterwards. They're also bloody good musicians, cracking off speedy riffs with fluency and panache. So when we come to the first riff proper of the title track, it seems Dripback have started this decade in a less benevolent mood than they started the last one. Granted the musical output could hardly be classed as easy listening before, but six years on after 'Failed Futures' and perhaps all the accumulated misery in the world has got on top of the even this most gung-ho of guitar slingers. The title track is a jackhammer of pounding hardcore riffs and squalling leads like an electric shock, while follow-up 'Forked Tongues' is a relentless, blastbeat-laden monstrosity. There's shades of the crossover though: 'Mouths Sewn Shut' and 'Alternated States Of Consciousness' have their moments where they drop the tempo just a touch and make them sound all the more sinister for it with the chords seemingly piling up in a car-crash breakdown in the former while the latter churns and vomits up more bile than most bands manage in an entire career, before its final death rattle brings forth the end of its two minutes, and then silence.
Sadly as an EP that's all there is to 'Blessed With Less Than Nothing', five tracks of fury that barely seem to have a chance to breathe and some of the sweet tricks they crammed into their previous releases are notably absent here. Nonetheless, this is a still a brutal addition to the canon, and we can but hope the world's events are fuel to the fivesome's fires.
'Blessed With Less Than Nothing' is out now on 4 Family Records