For Fans Of
Heavy, brutal, and slamming would be some ways that you could describe the latest offering from Honest Crooks. By the numbers could be another way. At least, in this case, this Aussie quintet’s new EP is a good example of how to tread an already well-worn path in fine fashion.
Honest Crooks have come a long way in terms of both their sound and identity since 2015’s ‘Hellsworth‘. Tighter production, stronger writing, tighter instrumentation and my lord, (newish) vocalist Jerry Chard has some real lungs on him! ‘Suffer‘, overall, places a lot of emphasis on trying to flex the tried and tested deathcore formula. Certain genre flares also appear in the forms of pre-breakdown grunts, some NYHC styled hardcore yells and some pretty mint guest features by Justice For The Damned’s own Bobak Rafiee & Nick Adams (‘False Gods‘) and ‘Disentomb’s’ Jord (‘Bone Crusher‘, which is indeed bone-crushingly heavy).
That being said, it still features plenty of blast beats, tremolos, gutturals and slams that would make any Air-Max sporting pit warrior drool; even showing a solid re-do of ‘Imminent Threat‘ and an audio sample from The Iceman movie on ‘Suffer‘. And not that this is a bad thing by any means, it’s more so that anyone who avidly listens to this style of heavy music isn’t going to find anything drastically different on this release. However, to Honest Crooks benefit, what is on display here with ‘Suffer‘ is all done well. The guitar riffs and leads are piercing enough to melt right through steel beams and the slam sections are crushing enough that an earthquake would get jealous.
Lyrically, ‘Suffer‘ doesn’t go too far from the band’s genre roots. The seven songs here deal with the worshipping of false idols, violence, death, and the detriment of mankind as a whole leading to a pretty grim demise for our species as a whole. Depressing and bleak sums it the tone of this EP up nicely!
Production wise, Calum Johnston & Clayton Segelov (over at The Brain Studios) have done a stellar job in bringing the overall tone of brutality to the forefront of this release – it’s so much cleaner and polished than the band’s past work. For instance, the drums are ferociously mixed if at times a slightly bland in terms of their style, it all works to the aid of the band’s brutal sound as a whole.
As a whole, ‘Suffer’ doesn’t bring anything that new to the table nor does it reinvent the wheel by any means; it just mimics what many other bands have done and adds in a few flares here and there. For those who are looking for something to crowd kill to or are looking for the soundtrack to their next bench press session, Honest Crooks new EP will more than suffice! For that’s what this Tamworth-by-way-of Canberra heavy act excels at the best – writing solid, heavy tunes that are perfect to pit too.