High Speed/Rhythm Vicar/Plastic Head (UK)
Wudda y’know, old schoolers Broken Bones return from hibernation with a searing slab of metallic Brit-core bound to wipe the floor with the puny asses of snot-nosed miscreants whose first introduction to “punk” was Blink 182’s Enema of the State. Their first LP in eight years, Without Conscience finds the Bones putting their heads down and thrashing away, arriving at something akin to Discharge with dynamics (guitarist Tony “Bones” Roberts is an ex-member of the latter band) • basically, a punk record us metalheads could dig. However, Without Conscience is more than a one-trick pony: Uncharacteristic for a band who were once contemporaries of The Exploited, Crass, GBH, and Subhumans many, many moons ago, Broken Bones now display a heightened sense of composition (dynamics, tension/release) both within their songs and throughout them (best example: the foreboding “Take”), not to mention longtime frontman Quiv’s more modernized Anselmo-esque grunt. Still, a point of contention here: Without Conscience’s cover art, inner spread, and much of its lyrical grist mull over the United States’ gun epidemic, but does that really concern them? I mean, shouldn•t they be pointing fingers at the IRA on their home turf or something? Whatever. Nonetheless, can’t hold back what is otherwise the only essential punk rock record this year.
High Speed, PO Box 20, Prince St. Station, New York, NY 10012; http://www.highspeedrecordings.com