Before we begin our review, I want to offer my sincere apologies to all SMS readers for the day-long delays that have occurred with our scheduled posts. Blogger (our hosting service) went into read-only mode due to a data corruption issue, and as a result, I've been unable to do anything beyond read and visit the SMS during the outage. It also resulted in the temporary removal of yesterday's weekend concert preview post & our last Woods of Ypres-centric post due to the outage, which Blogger is hopefully planning to restore later tonight. As a result, we're badly behind on this very busy stretch of news, feature posts, and reviews. I did NOT plan this or intend to stall, and for further proof, click here for Blogger's official statement on the outage. I will be working overtime over the next few days to get back on track, so bear with me, thanks for your understanding, and I apologize again for the delays! (Updated on October 26th, 2012)
It's now time for our 23rd CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and for a second straight month, we have a new release to discuss, as today's review is of Destroilet's self-titled debut EP! Released on April 22nd, this EP was recorded earlier this spring at Meat Curtain Studios with producer Aaron Gibbs. The band's original & current lineup are present on the EP, including singer Mike Hull, guitarists John Conway & Christian Foisy, bassist Adam Larocque, and drummer Matt Waples, who also designed the album artwork. All instrument players except Matt also contribute backing vocals on the included tracks. With no CD release show and plans to rerecord this EP with new tracks, it's now likely out of print, but try contacting band members to get copies if you can! Each disc cost $5, and vinyl lovers will get a kick out of the discs used for the album! If you want to stream the album for free, head to their MySpace page to check out unmastered mixes of four songs. Clocking in at around 13 minutes or so of music, this should be a quicker review than we usually see, but this should be a good one, so let's start with the first track, "End Me"!
After fittingly(?) starting with a toilet flush, "End Me" launches into a fast paced hardcore punk number with no room to breathe, as I suspect was intended! Mike Hull's singing here is more punk influenced then you'll see on later tracks, singing in a lower monotone for much of the song, rather than a hardcore scream, which actually takes away a bit from the song. The gang backing vocals work well though! Destroilet are playing at a relentless pace here, hitting you with some heavy punk-inspired riffs constantly, though we do get a nice (if short) guitar solo from John Conway! If you like your hardcore punk with more punk than hardcore, this will suit your tastes well, but I'd have liked harsher vocals and a longer guitar solo. Nice opener though! "Suck It!" follows as the second track, which opens with a slightly slower riff that's still full of attitude! Mike's vocals are at a harsher hardcore level here, making use of his style which, though unrefined, perfectly suits each track! This song would probably get monotonous if it ran longer than 2:05, so it knows when to wrap up. I think I liked the intensity on "End Me" better than "Suck It!", though I do prefer the singing and drumming on this one, so it's a tie at the moment. Very solid track though, moshpits will happen for "Suck It!"
Third is "H.D.M.", the EP's longest song, but when the longest is just over 3 minutes long, you know this album will blow by quickly! After a band member (I presume) says "You assholes tricked me into this, didn't you?", a very heavy riff kicks in that has a bouncy quality that works well, and it's probably the heaviest I've heard them so far! Adam Larocque gets a short bass solo too before the verses kick in, and Destroilet are tearing it up here! Until about halfway through the track, they're on fire with heaviness, and Mike's vocals are getting harsher and crustier as it goes, almost like he's singing with the aim of losing his voice! Things get slower in the second half, but keep the same intensity level until speeding back up for the last 30 seconds! This is by far the heaviest song of the opening half of the EP, and considering it's length, I welcome that! Definitely my favourite song so far, though I'd liked to have heard a guitar solo in there!
The final original song on the EP is "My Life", and you know how I said the last song opened really heavy? Yeah, this is heavier, it feels like a thrash riff on repeat! Mike's singing is similar to on "End Me", which I think is a mistake given the song's heaviness, but aside from that, this has a great driving riff that sets the heaviness bar really high! I absolutely love the guitar here, I don't know if their covers can top this! The bass and drums fit perfectly too, and we get another guitar solo to help end the track too, which is nice! I know John isn't known much for solos, but he should play them more! If Mike was yelling the vocals here, that'd be the only real change I'd make, though more chorus lyrics would be nice too. This is my new favourite on the EP, and likely the one pure metalheads will respond to the best!
The EP closes with two covers, both of songs by two other local bands that John Conway was in, the first one being a cover of "Mile 58" by his country/punk outfit The Billy Bastards! I'm not familiar with the original enough to know how the Destroilet version compares, but you can sense a country influence with the more melodic guitar playing! I suspect this is a more hardcore influenced version of the song, given Destroilet's genre, but I'm not sure. Either way, it's a good song, and the vocals as done here suit the song! Aside from another nice (but too short) guitar solo late, the song's fairly repetitive, and probably could stand to be chopped down a bit, but it's a good track that suits Destroilet, at least how they altered it! Finally, Destroilet covers John's old band A-Null Seepage's song "Got Beat Up" for a 76 second closing number, and they ratchet up the speed to it's highest level to close the EP! This bottles up all the heaviness and aggression I enjoyed from past songs into under a minute and a half, and it's an adrenaline rush of old school hardcore here! Guitar solo, aggressive vocals, very heavy backing music, if only it was longer! The EP's progressively gotten better, and this is the perfect closer, making me want to hear more of both Destroilet AND A-Null Seepage!
So how do you grade Destroilet's first EP? Well, it succeeds at being a great mash-up of old school hardcore tracks with a punk attitude, and there was no duds if that's what you're into! The band played with a constant aggression, though it was clearer on songs like "My Life" and "Got Beat Up". Chris & John's work suited each song, John's guitar solos (despite their length) were awesome, and the riffs had a relentless in your face presence that never let up! Mike Hull's hardcore yelling is great, and you can feel the strain on some songs, but his softer punk-styled voice doesn't have the same impact to me, and it can hurt some songs. Adam Larocque's bass worked well, though it felt buried at times, and Matt Waples' drumming was a constant presence that never faltered! Destroilet fit a ton of sounds and influences into 13 minutes of music, and their originals (especially "My Life") show their songwriting talent well, even if this style can be construed as messy or noisy. The first two songs were hit and miss, and "Mile 58" dragged a bit, but the rest of the album shows Destroilet at their best, playing an aggressive brand of old-school hardcore that grabs you and doesn't let go! Good production too! This is a successful first effort by Destroilet, and here's hoping they have more originals in the works, as there's definitely something there for hardcore fans!
I hope you guys enjoyed this month's review! So, what will we review next month? I'm not sure just yet, but for possibilities, check out our most recent "Where Are The New Albums?" post! Them (and The Bear Hunters, more on them soon) have all started work on an album, so you never know if any of those bands will have an album out by next month! The only exceptions would be new releases from Woods of Ypres or Mike Haggith, as we've reviewed new albums of theirs too recently at the moment. In the event that no new albums by local bands come out in the next month or so, I'll review an older album from the archives, hopefully tied in with a band or musician playing next month. If I have none accessible that fit, then I'll go for a more prominent general release, but until around June 20th or earlier, we won't know for sure. Stay tuned! That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Harsh Heads defunct profile later tonight! Thanks everyone!