For Fans Of
As a ‘critic’ of music (and I use that term as loosely and as self-derogatory as possible), my email inbox is typically full of all sorts of promotional streams and album premieres. Some good, some bad; others just your run-of-the-mill, “I’ve hacked your shit, give me some Bitcoin or else” emails. But occasionally, something unexpected makes its way into my inbox and I am more than pleasantly surprised.
Enter PISSPOOR, a young American metallic hardcore outfit hailing from Lubbock, Texas. A few weeks ago, I received a promotional stream of the band’s brand new EP, ‘You Were Born To Die A Sinful Lamb,’ from the nice folks over at DIY indie label Goodjunkie Records. Before diving into the EP, I think it’s worth pointing out the band’s mission statement (publicly available on their Bandcamp profile — it’s right there on the header, you can’t miss it):
“A death threat for the individuals who attempt to abuse their power in any religious setting to exploit, violate, and destroy innocent children. May all of these individuals struggle to find peace at the end of their days.”
Tough words. However, they do help to contextualize the sentiment and sonic assault presented during ‘You Were Born To Die A Sinful Lamb’. Now, on with the review!
The EP is bookended by a spoken word intro ‘Nil’ and outro ‘Your Tongue Is Severed,’ with the speaker voice’s modulated and distorted, sounding like a garbled voice-to-text chat bot going through the motions of a hate-fuelled exorcism. This voice reappears once again on ‘My Ears Are Covered,’ which helps divide the two sides of EP and delineate between the four tracks proper. Overall, these ‘instrumentals’ (for the lack of a better word) don’t offer much except to set the tone and overall vibe of the EP: haunting, heavy and hateful.
‘Prey For Me (Bestill)’ kicks off with a ’90s style break beat, before arriving at a blistering passage of pneumatic chugs and panic chords. It’s a form of mechanized aggression that will sound familiar to fans of the revivalist metalcore sound of the late 2010s, with booming toms, plenty of vocal switch-ups, and a sliding scale beatdown for good measure. Meanwhile, ‘Unfair Game (Knowthatiamgod)’ sports an ‘Iowa’-era Slipknot riff in the intro that jumps straight into a massive breakdown and a multi-pronged vocal attack. The lead riff is catchy and the rhythms head-bang worthy — perfect for some recreational crowd-killing. Then there’s a great transition into an up-tempo two-step part, before a truly terrifying vocal break which is wild and intense, sounding like some real King 810 shit.
On ‘Sob (Exaltedamongnations),’ we’re greeted with a fusillade of drums and a super-heavy death metal riff, making up the bulk of a hardcore rhythm section for the verses. Suddenly, a massive beatdown hits alongside strained screams and crew vocals. With ‘Under Duress (Exaltedintheearth),’ the EP wraps up its musical offering with a 90s-aping metalcore cut, complete with dual-vocal attacks, catchy riffs, and a head-bang worthy stomp section. It’s easily the most thrilling part of the release, aided in every way by pounding and intense war drums, before the stomp returns with down-tuned, overlaid breakdown patterns and a no-frills bass outro. “Nice.”
As an introduction to a new and up-and-coming outfit, ‘You Were Born To Die A Sinful Lamb’ certainly hits the mark. While not at all reinventing the genre, or relying on overwrought, derivative formulas, this EP shows that PISSPOOR has the potential to go the distance, with plenty of hardcore vitriol to go around. Watch this space.
- Prey For Me (Bestill)
- Unfair Game (Knowthatiamgod)
- My Ears Are Covered
- Sob (Exaltedamongnations)
- Under Duress (Exaltedintheearth)
- Your Tongue Is Severed
‘You Were Born To Die A Sinful Lamb’ is out now via Goodjunkie Records. You can find physical copies and digital copies of the record here.