A solid, all-rounder hardcore EP, the way it should be done.
Brighton's premier hardcore act, Dead Swans have returned for the first time since their 2009 full length debut, Sleepwalkers, with this year's EP, Anxiety and Everything Else. I was pretty stoked to hear it, I won't lie. The EP is full of, well, hardcore. I mean, actual hardcore... not what the kids are calling it nowadays.
I didn't know much about the band before taking on this review, but I breathed a gigantic sigh of relief when I heard the EP. No generic breakdowns to be had here.
The first thing that strikes me about this EP is how solid it is... there aren't exactly any tracks that jump out at you, but it's all good. Consistently good, start to finish. Not a single track you'd skip over. The EP kicks in with I've Been Trying to Leave. The song is a great piece of work, beginning with feedback before breaking into some awesome Hardcore beats with occasional time changes that give it a wonderful dynamic. The album continues at a similar pace and quality until Keep Them Shut.
Keep Them Shut is a sludgy dirge that My War-era Black Flag would get off to. You can only blame yourself goes down the same line after a rollicking open. Pure gold. The album finishes on Southern Blue, a Cancer Bats-esque riot that brings the album to an exceptional close.
All in all, I'm pretty impressed with this effort. It's a solid EP, start to finish. No tracks that are instant classics, mind you, but none that you'd skip either. It's really nice to see a hardcore effort from the UK that isn't Gallows making a mark. If you're a fan of real hardcore, then I highly reccomend you give this one a go. It's fifteen minutes of your life spent well.